The Premier League season is reaching the home straight especially for Manchester United and their rivals fighting it out for a top four position and qualification for next season’s Champions League. The next six games for Manchester United will be crucial if they are going to return to the Champions League next season. Starting with the game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon. As we go into the final ten games of the season there are only five points separating Arsenal in 3rd and Southampton in 7th. Manchester United currently sit in 4th place in the League, one point behind Arsenal, two in front of Liverpool and three points in front of their next opponents Tottenham. As well as facing Tottenham on Sunday, in the next six games they face trips to Anfield, Stamford Bridge and Goodison Park and a home game against Manchester City. I believe after these six games we will have a clearer idea as to whether Manchester United will be playing in next seasons Champions League.
Let’s look at Manchester United’s next game against Tottenham, this is a must win game for both sides, If United get the win it will see them move six points clear of Tottenham and therefore put a major dent in Tottenham’s Champions League aspirations. If Tottenham get the result they want at Old Trafford it will see them move level on points with United and make the situation even more complicated. Both teams go into this game in identical form in the last six Premier League games. With both taking thirteen points from a possible eighteen. Both having four wins, one draw and one loss. Manchester United will be looking to keep their good home record this season, having only dropped eight points at home this season. That is a big improvement on last season when they struggled with their home form. Tottenham’s away form has been good this season and in their last six games away games they have taken twelve points from a possible eighteen.
Going into this game Manchester United will definitely be without Robin Van Persie(injury), Angel Di Maria(suspended) and Jonny Evans(suspended). Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo are expected to be fit after picking up knocks against Arsenal. With Di Maria out suspended after his sending off against Arsenal, who will get a chance in his place. Will Adnan Januzaj get a start after replacing Di Maria from the bench in recent games or will Manchester United fans see Juan Mata return to the starting eleven, Mata hasn’t started a game for United since the game against QPR at Loftus Road on 17th January and he was taken of at half-time in that game. Will Luke Shaw again start after being taken off at half-time against Arsenal and will Michael Carrick return to the starting eleven after coming on at half-time against Arsenal. Surely these are all questions that Manchester United fans will be asking ahead of the game.
After Valencia’s two mistakes against Arsenal that led to both their goals on Monday night, maybe its time take him out of the firing line because you can guarantee that Tottenham will look to attack United down the right side of their defence and put the pressure on Valencia. Who else to play at right-back for Manchester United? That’s the question for Louis Van Gaal. I personally would play Rafeal. Although he can be suspect at the back, he is good attacking full-back and although I can’t see him being at United next season, I would use him in the final ten games of the season. I went to the under-21s game against Tottenham at Old Trafford on Tuesday night and Rafael showed his good attacking play in that game, especially with the goal he scored. Another player who impressed me on Tuesday night and always does when ever I’ve seen him play is James Wilson. He played more down the right side in this game and never gave the Tottenham defence any rest all night. He was always looking for the ball and running at the Tottenham defence when he got the ball. For me James Wilson should be given a lot more opportunity in the first team, especially as its clear Falcao isn’t cutting it and won’t be signing a long-term deal at United.
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