United head to Bloomfield Road after a mixed week, a 7-1 drubbing of Blackburn Rovers last weekend should have set us up nicely for the midweek Carling Cup tie against West Ham United but matters, as we all know, didn`t turn out that way with United suffering a 4-0 hammering.
Sir Alex Ferguson will be keen to get back to winning ways against Blackpool and maintain our unbeaten start in the Premier League but, on recent form, we`re sure that United will push us all the way! It promises to be an interesting game.
Since arriving in the Premier League, the Blackpool manager, Ian Holloway, has kept us enchanted with his vast array of quotes, therefore it`d be churlish not to let the chap have his say in our quotes section wouldn`t it.
Discussing the impending fixture though, he seems to be getting a bit carried away when he remarks,
“Welcoming Sir Alex will be great and probably the highlight of my managerial career so far because it`s a league game and not a one off cup match, and we`re playing the mighty Manchester United.”
Continuing his adulation, he goes on to say,
‘Sir Alex is a living legend. What he has done in the game is just unreal.”
‘It will be an honour to welcome him to Blackpool because he is the top of the tree when it comes to British managers.”
‘The great thing about him is that if he misses your call he will ring you back within 10 minutes. How good is that?”
‘I admire a lot of clubs but Manchester United have a certain aura and Sir Alex certainly has.”
‘He gets under people’s skin as well because he actually says what he feels and you need that passion. Bill Shankly had the same passion and he started all that great success at Liverpool.”
‘Sir Alex has matched that fantastic record of Liverpool’s (18 League titles). One more and he will have beaten it in his own lifetime, which is just unbelievable.”
Careful Sir Alex he just might be playing a few mind games of his own!
Blackpool Team News:
Ian Holloway has a squad that has done him proud, even more so when you see just what a lengthy injury list he has to cope with.
The following players will all be not available through injury – Almond, Baptiste, Clarke, Gilks, Martin, Basham and Harewood.
Rated as doubtful is Sylvestre whilst Rachubka is ineligible.
Player to watch: Charlie Adam
The ex-Glasgow Rangers player has quickly shown that he has the natural ability to play at this level and he`ll be the one trying to pull the strings in midfield for Blackpool.
United Team News:
Sir Alex is certain to ring the changes again. On Tuesday, he made ten changes to the side that swept Blackburn Rovers aside last weekend, we expect him to do the same this time around as he reverts to his strongest starting eleven.
Likely to return are Edwin Van der Sar, Patirce Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes, Nani, Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov.
Definitely out though are the injured trio of Antonio Valencia, Owen Hargreaves and Michael Owen and Paul Scholes will require a fitness test on his groin problem.
Player to watch: Dimitar Berbatov
The Bulgarian certainly silenced the critics, last time out, with his five goal salvo and it`ll be interesting to see how he fares in a completely different environment.
Match Facts & Stats
Its ages since these two sides clashed in the top flight and that was back in 1970/1971 when both games finished as 1-1 draws.
The two sides last played each other competitively, in the league, back in 1974/1975 when both were in the second tier, United won 4-0 at Old Trafford and 3-0 at Bloomfield Road.
United will be hoping that this match doesn`t go the way of the majority of their other Premier League away fixtures this season. United have played 7 and 6 of those have been draws.
The appointed officials are Peter Walton (referee), Andy Newbold and Adam Watts (assistants) and Michael Oliver (fourth official)
A hard one to predict! On paper it looks as if we`ll have the edge over Ian Holloway`s side, but Blackpool have shocked a few sides since they got promoted with their adventurous, attacking football. But, I`m still taking United to nick this one in a full-blooded battle!
We finish our Champions League group campaign in midweek with a fixture against Valencia before continuing our Premier League campaign with a tough looking home fixture against Arsenal next weekend.