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After European disappointment, United need to bounce back against West Brom

Sir Alex Ferguson remained upbeat after Manchester United were beaten 3-2 at home by Athletic Bilbao on Thursday night, but the side need to return to form and victory when they face West Brom on Sunday. With Manchester City two points ahead of the Red Devils, a win against the Baggies at Old Trafford is a necessity.

United were second best against Bilbao in the Europa League, with Ferguson admitting that the showing, especially at the back, was not good enough. The club’s European campaign hangs in the balance, and a top performance at San Mames next week will be necessary to salvage the tie against the Spaniards.

However, more importantly, the Premier League campaign is entering a pivotal stage and after wins over Norwich and Tottenham, United need to keep their domestic ball rolling. With eleven games left in the league, the race to be champions is set to go down to the wire. City currently hold the advantage, but this weekend may well shift the balance of power.

City may well have won their last four games in the league, but they face a tough test this weekend. After an unexpected 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sporting Lisbon on Thursday and travel across to Portugal, Roberto Mancini’s men have to face a Swansea side that have exceeded expectations this term. The Welsh team have been especially dangerous at the Liberty Stadium this season, having beat Arsenal and drawn with Chelsea and Tottenham at home; City could drop points in this fixture if they are not at their best.

Regardless of City’s result, United need to get maximum points to keep pressure on their arch enemies. However, with less than convincing performances of late, victory is not assured against a rejuvenated West Brom team. Roy Hodgson has turned the Hawthorns club’s fortunes around over the last month, to the point that he is now being considered in the media as a potential candidate for the vacant England manager post.

West Brom have won their last three games in the league, scoring ten goals in the process. A 1-0 win over Chelsea in their last outing saw the end of Andre Villas Boas, and dealt a blow to the Blues’ season. In particular, Peter Odemwingie has recovered form and fitness and will pose a threat to a under pressure United backline; the Nigeria international has scored five goals in the three-match run and is being linked with a move to Arsenal in the summer.

All things considered, United should pick up three points against the Baggies on Sunday if they play to anywhere near their best. Rio Ferdinand will more than likely be reinstated to the back four, and the veteran needs to step up and command his fellow defenders. If Sir Alex’s men can solve their issues at the back, they may well be top of the league at the end of the weekend.

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  1. Clint-iamyourpapii says:

    Bouncy is our middle name !

  2. The WitchKing of Angmar says:

    I trust the lads to do the job against west brom. I also expect City to take full points against Swansea so everything will be back to status quo in my opinion. But aint a bad thing to expect an upset at the Liberty stadium. Come on united. Glory.

  3. WillieRedNut says:

    Liverpool fail again! King Kenny is back!

  4. Chris says:

    LOOSERFOOLS! One has been shoved in their asses. Kudos Sunderland! They have given Cunt Suarez a hardtime, even dives couldn’t save him.

  5. james21 says:

    Bouncy Bouncy.
    Just be careful Reds you threw away a 2-0 lead last time. DON’T DO IT AGAIN.

    Good old Black Cats.

  6. TK99 says:

    Muniain ……Fergie please sign him up….He’s going to be a world class player.

  7. james21 says:

    Witch King.
    Have you found that bloody ring yet?

  8. rijah says:

    Sorry to say this, but after the last game i have stopped dreaming of any cup/league victory for utd this season. I don’t want to have any more heart attack this season… atleast i hope we learn from these huge and enormous mistakes and bounce back next season… GGMU…

  9. james21 says:

    Don’t be so negative. Believe.

  10. philco says:

    So Utd need to win to keep the pressure on the bitters.
    I’m so glad I popped on, I had no idea.
    And Ireland take the lead in the rugby. This is turning out to be some day.

  11. WillieRedNut says:

    Two wins out of 11 for the dippers. That’s relegation form!

  12. Costas says:

    Need to prove a point against West Brom as well. No messing around. Play a strong line up and get it out of the way as soon as possible.

  13. rijah says:

    Thanks bro… i really want united to win the 20th this season… and the europa league as well… i really expected united to do well in the athletico match… hope we do a miracle in the return leg…. :)

  14. james21 says:

    King Kenny the saviour of the Job Dodgers. :D

    Cedars says hi. Has no tinternet for 4 days.
    so here goes

    Can you hear the Stretty sing? Tumbleweed and crickets.

  15. Zibbie says:

    hah Liverfools.

  16. The WitchKing of Angmar says:

    @James 21, the damned thing has been in my ass all these years, and I was bloody searching and warring all over middle earth for it.
    @Costas, play a strong line up? Of course we would play our best line up. Is there any inclination that we might rest players for Bilbao, I highly doubt that. Fergie would play the team he feels is in the best position to win us the match. Whether that involves Young on the right and De gea at right back is another question.

  17. Mikekelly12 says:

    All we need to remember is Blackburn on new years eve. They picked up only thier second away win of the season today at the hapless wolves which tells you what a disaster our result was! Many people went into that game (myself included) thinking of how many goals we’d peg back on city while returning to the top!! As we know that back fired majorly with a ridiculous midfield of Park and Twin and the foolhardy Rooney getting banned! Rooney needs to make amends for his misdemeanour with a bag full of goals and United need to find form with a full strength team.

  18. james21 says:

    No worries. Just Believe. Not overly worried about the Europa but would be nice to win, a bit like the Carling Cup. 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 is far more important. Stop the Posnan Pricks at all costs.

  19. james21 says:

    :D Nice reply.

    I’m going into the game with the same frame of mind although any win will do.

  20. Costas says:

    @The WitchKing of Angmar

    You can never tell with Fergie’s line ups. And I doubt many players will be rested for Bilbao. It’s obvious which trophy is our priority now. I just hope that we will rest players at Bilbao next week. Wolves away could be a very tricky fixture.

  21. The WitchKing of Angmar says:

    Loserpool lose again today to my second team in the premiership. I must confess a soft spot for Sunderland with all our ex players there and now that Martin is managing them, the spot just got softer. So aint a better team to beat them for me. Its a good thing they won the carling cup, otherwise, their sour asses wouldn’t even be in europe next season. Hiss.

  22. The WitchKing of Angmar says:

    @James 21, thanks mate.
    @ Costas, I feel ur point. However, in my opinion, if we can get a good win against west brom tomorrow, I think we should go at Bilbao with all we’ve got. Carrick and Scholes in the middle, Young and Nani at the wing, Rooney and Welbeck and the centre. 4-4-2, all guns blazing. Then if we go out, we go out the United way. But like you say, you never know with Sir Alex, you never know.

  23. WillieRedNut says:

    James – Ha ha. Tell the Lebanon prankster hi! :)

  24. eddieTheRed says:

    Keith Andrews has been brilliant for West Brom since he joined them in January; if we want to win the game we need to make sure he gets no time on the ball in midfield!

  25. Chris says:

    I have a feeling Swansea will pull suprise on shitty. I feel something in me saying we will either go top or joint top by the end of tomorrow. I guess its BELIEVE spirit in me!

  26. JC says:

    Im not sure why anyone would be concerned by Wolves even away, they’ve been spanked 3 out of their last 4 matches by the lofty heights of WBA, Fulham and Blackburn. They’ve clearly given up and are just riding it out til relegation.


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