After the wonderful win at the Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup last Sunday, United return to Premier League action, this Saturday, with a visit from troubled Bolton Wanderers. On paper it looks the ideal opportunity to get back to winning ways after two consecutive Premier League defeats, against Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers, but then again weren`t Blackburn supposed to be a team in turmoil? The moral being, let`s not count our chickens before they are hatched!
Manchester United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson has, so far, resisted the temptation to dip into the transfer market. But with a squad heavily hit by injuries he has been boosted by the fact that Paul Scholes has come out of retirement to join the squad for the remainder of the season.
Amongst those likely to be absent this Saturday are:- Nemanja Vidic, Michael Owen, Darren Fletcher and Ashley Young, four big hitters. There`s also the prospect of Rio Ferdinand not being 100% after the influential defender admitted he`d suffered from a virus that had seen him spend a sleepless night on the porcelain.
With it being essential that United get back to winning ways, the big decisions Sir Alex has to make surround the midfield and the man between the sticks. With regards to the latter, Anders Lindegaard seems to be preferred to David de Gea in recent matches but that may change tomorrow. In midfield, in the latter stages of the game against City, last Sunday, we had two very experienced campaigners in Giggs and Scholes controlling the game, will that be how Sir Alex starts on Saturday?
Predicting a potential line-up we`ll go with:-
De Gea, Evra, Ferdinand, Jones, Smalling, Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Nani, Rooney, Welbeck
Player to watch: Wayne Rooney
Man-of-the-match at the Etihad Stadium, Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking for Wayne to produce a similar sort of performance to ensure that United get back to winning ways in the Premier League.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Owen Coyle will be hoping that the proposed deal for Gary Cahill, involving Chelsea, doesn`t go through just yet meaning he can play at Old Trafford. If it does he`ll , more than likely, call on Wheater to partner Knight.
Elsewhere, Jaskelaainen could return between the sticks having missed the last two fixtures with a thigh injury.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
If the bustling figure of Yakubu proved difficult for the United central defenders to handle in our last Premier League fixture at Old Trafford then this player could prove to be equally as dangerous.
Match Facts & Stats
As you`d expect United lead the way when it comes to meetings with Bolton. The last time our hosts won against United was back in December 207 and that was a narrow 1-0 victory on their own patch. The last time Bolton won at Old Trafford was back in September 2001
United have taken the honours in 12 of the last 14 fixtures.
It`s hard to recall when United last lost 3 Premier League fixtures on the bounce but that will be the scenario tomorrow if Bolton Wanderers pull off a shock. In fact I think someone told me it was 2002 when we last lost three on the bounce but one of those wasn`t a competitive fixture. So will Bolton pull off a shock? Of course not! United will bounce back and although it may be tight at times, I`m taking Sir Alex to have a big grin on his face come Saturday evening celebrating a win by at least three clear goals.
After what appears to be a comfortable fixture, if there is such a thing, against Bolton, the ante is somewhat upped next time out when we travel to take on a rejuvenated Arsenal next Sunday. Somehow I don`t think It`ll end up 8-2 this time, do you?