This Sunday, at Old Trafford, Manchester United will collect the Premier League title. The result, for United, is almost significant, but the same cannot be said for our visitors, Blackpool. Ian Holloway`s side are trapped in the bottom three and are staring relegation in the face, they arrive at Old Trafford needing to get a result to stand a chance of pulling off a last day escape. To do so they will have to become the first team to win at Old Trafford, in the premier League, this season, a gigantic task I think you`ll agree.
Playing for the last time, competitively, at Old Trafford, Edwin van der Sar has spoken about the emotional time he`s anticipating bidding farewell, commenting ahead of the game,
“I am not looking forward to it.’
‘It is a sad moment. You don’t look forward to those. I just have to make the best of it.”
‘I wouldn’t say it has come round quickly. I had not really been thinking about it. Once I knew what I was going to do, I remained focused on the games and the training.”
‘It is only in the last two weeks that it has really sunk in that I am running out of time.”
‘Hopefully, though, the memories I will get this weekend I will be able to keep with me for the rest of my life.’
United Team News:
With a Champions League Final beckoning, much has been made of what starting eleven Sir Alex Ferguson will go with. Already speculation is in the air that United will be fined if they field a sub-standard side and lose.
Sir Alex, aware of what a can-of-worms he could be about to open has publicly stated the names of six who will start, probably to dispel the fears of those other clubs involved in the relegation battle that Blackpool might get an easy ride.
The six Sir Alex has named being Fletcher, Scholes, Anderson, Berbatov and Evra with the remainder of the starting eleven being a closely guarded secret. Definitely not up for inclusion though is Hargreaves who has a shoulder injury whilst O`Shea is on the doubtful list.
Player to watch: Edwin van der Sar
Old Trafford has the chance to wish Edwin bon voyage as he calls time on his United career. Our Dutch stopper has one more competitive game in a United shirt, the Champions League Final. Let`s give him the send off his performances deserve!
Blackpool Team News:
Ian Holloway has, much to his delight I`d imagine, no injury or suspension concerns as he contemplates taking on the Champions in their own back yard needing to become the first team to won here this season in order to stay up!
Player to watch: Charlie Adam
The ex-Glasgow Rangers player has taken the Premier League by storm and is set to leave Blackpool this summer in a multi-million pound deal.
Match Facts & Stats
Clashes between the two sides, in recent times, have been scarce. The last time Blackpool came to Old Trafford was in the 1974/1975 season
United`s home form is superb winning 17 and drawing 1 this season whilst Blackpool, although unbeaten in 4 games had their first win in 11 last time out when they beat Bolton Wanderers.
The man in the middle is Mike Dean
Although Sir Alex will ring the changes, I reckon United will still be too strong for Blackpool and will emerge the victors with the unfortunate consequence that whilst we parade the Premier League trophy around the pitch, Blackpool will be suffering the heartbreak of relegation.
The small matter of a Champions League Final, against Barcelona at Wembley, awaits us next Saturday evening.