Manchester United take on Portsmouth away tomorrow, in a game which is typically pretty tough for our lads. We drew with them on the second day of the season last year and in the four matches before that at Fratton Park, we’ve lost three of them.
Whilst rolling over too easily for Chelsea last weekend, I fully anticipate them putting on a much more respectable performance against us, and the possibility of dropping points in fairly strong.
The BBC believes these are the players we have available, however other reports suggest Giggs’ hamstring injury from Newcastle will keep him out.
Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Foster, Brown, Neville, R Da Silva, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Evra, F Da Silva, Fletcher, O’Shea, Scholes, Possebon, Gibson, Giggs, Rooney, Tevez, Campbell, Welbeck.
Whilst I don’t want to see Wes Brown dropped automatically, I’d like to see Gary starting against Pompey. He needs match time under his belt as soon as possible to at least have a go at winning his place back.
I know the obvious choice would be to have O’Shea starting alongside Scholes in the centre, but I’d like to see Rodrigo Possebon given a go. He looks a really classy player, giving himself all the time in the world on the ball, and I see no reason why we shouldn’t throw him in at the deep end. If it all goes terribly wrong, it probably won’t be that much worse than if we had O’Shea in the centre of the midfield (sorry John!).
If Giggs isn’t available, maybe we would be wise to go for 4-3-3, playing the midfielders I’ve mentioned, but throwing Frazier Campbell in to the mix up front. He’d have got his first goal for United last weekend had Shay Given not accidentally saved Campbell’s shot with his face, and I’d like to see him given another go.
We are going to be up for a tough time tomorrow and I’d just rather see us take risks to try and secure the three points, rather than go with what we already though, and lose out anyway. I don’t mean to be too criticial of the likes of O’Shea and Fletcher, but I honestly can’t bear to see them in the same midfield. For whatever reason, Fergie decided to go without Carrick and play these two alongside each other against Arsenal a couple of seasons ago. The result was disastrous and I don’t want to go there again. Let’s see what Possebon has got.
Hopefully Calamity will have one of his moments, like he did against against the Czech Republic during the week, and the referee will be able to see, for a change. I sincerely hope I’m wrong, but I can’t help but wonder whether we’ve got another slow start to the season on our hands!