United will be looking to extend their unbeaten start to the Premier League season when they entertain Blackburn Rovers this weekend. Having closed the gap on Chelsea to goal difference, a win against Blackburn would put the pressure back on the current title holders to get a result on the road, against Newcastle, on Sunday, something they`ve not being doing a great job of in recent weeks.
All eyes will be on Wayne Rooney as he seeks to cast off the stigma of insisting United were not the club for him before, eventually, signing a new contract.
Rooney is expected to start on Saturday and with the critics saying his form has been poor this season the striker has hit back with the following comments,
‘Mentally I have been okay.’
‘Because the football has not been going well and other things have happened, everyone has put it down to not being mentally strong enough. But I am.”
‘Obviously the most important thing for me at the minute is to play and score goals.’
‘People are saying how bad I have been playing but I haven’t played enough games for my form to be a disaster.”
‘With everything that has happened, the reaction all goes a bit overboard. But I have been through patches before when I haven’t played well and come through them.”
‘I know 100% I will come through this one.’
And the best way to do so would be to score a goal from open play!
United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson will have to do without the services of Darren Fletcher after the Scotsman picked up an injury against Wigan last timeout. Also missing, through injury, will be Valencia, Hargreaves and Owen whilst Scholes is hopeful of shaking off a knock he picked up at Ibrox. Most likely to return are the defensive trio of Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra, all of whom were rested for the midweek Champions League tie.
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
Roy of the Rovers, fresh from his winner at Ibrox on Wednesday night, albeit from the penalty spot, will be looking to get a first start at Old Trafford since his recent contract shenanigans and contract hullabaloo.
Blackburn Team News:
Sam Allardyce has a squad that has several injury woes, definitely out, according to our sources, are Andrews, Grella, Benjani, Nzonzi and Emerton whilst Mame Diouf (being a United player isn`t allowed to play.
Also rated as doubtful are Givet and our one to watch, Pedersen.
Player to watch: Morten Gamst Pedersen
The Norwegian is on a rich run of form having netted several times in recent fixtures, United will need to be aware of his free-kick expertise and his breaks from midfield.
Match Facts & Stats
The recent statistics suggest this has a United victory written all over it. In the last nine meetings between the two sides United have won seven and drawn two.
Blackburn`s last victory, over United came back in February 2006 when they emerged 4-3 winners in a thriller with David Bentley grabbing a hat trick.
Referee – Lee Probert
Assistants – Patrick Keane and Trevor Massey
Fourth Official – Chris Foy
A United win! Sam Allardyce`s side will battle hard but our class will see us home by at least two clear goals, possibly more!
It`s the magic of the Carling Cup for us in midweek as we travel to Upton Park to play West Ham United, I say magic because it has that feel about it when you are defending a trophy. Next up in the Premier League is a trip to the seaside next weekend to play Blackpool, grab your ‘kiss-me-quick` hats sharp-ish!