Reds ready for Norwich visit

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United squad heads into the international break with a far healthier injury situation than just four days ago. While the Scot was missing seven players for United’s Champions League draw with FC Basel on Tuesday night, Ferguson will welcome back key strikers Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernández for the clash with Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday. Rooney has recovered from a minor hamstring strain, while the dead-leg suffered by Ferguson’s Mexican striker is less severe than first thought.

It is Rooney and Hernández that will fire United to Premier and Champions League glory this season according to Ferguson, with the Scot insisting the pair can match Dwight York and Andy Cole for goals and understanding. Yorke and Cole scored more than half-a-century of goals during United’s 1999 treble winning season.

“Wayne and Javier Hernandez will be fit for tomorrow. They trained yesterday very well and I was pleased with that,” said Ferguson on Friday.

“They haven’t played a full season together yet. Yorke and Cole scored 52 goals in that season between them, which was exceptional because Yorkie [had] just joined us. It was his first season. Unbelievable. I think Yorkie that season was probably one of the best strikers in Europe. For a first season player he was amazing. He and Andy just hit it off immediately.”

“The goal threat was immense on a regular basis when Hernández came into the side just after Christmas. The boy has come back and scored two goals so far. I really do expect him to score 25 and over because he has got something in that box. Wayne has had a fantastic start to the season and has got nine goals at the moment. The capability is there and I’ve got Welbeck, and I’ve got Owen, and I’ve got Berbatov, and I’ve got Macheda and I’ve got Diouf. It’s a terrific unit, that.”

But although Ferguson is purring at the thought of his first choice strikers returning for the clash with Paul Lambert’s newly promoted East Anglians there is also a warning from the Scot about the lax defending and complacency that crept into United’s performance against Basel.

`Manchester United v Norwich City, Premier League, Old Trafford, 3pm, 1 October 2011.Tom Cleverley, Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling will each return to the first team picture in a fortnight’s time, although not in time to shore up a United back-four that shipped three against Basel. However, Jonny Evans could return to Ferguson’s starting side for the clash with Norwich. Lambert’s side is brimming with confidence after securing a first win of the season over Sunderland on Monday night.

“Jonny Evans also comes back, hopefully that will help us in the defensive part as we’re certainly changing the back four at the moment Vidic, Cleverley and Smalling should be ready after the internationals and available for Liverpool,” added Ferguson.

“People say our performance was careless and we underestimated our opponents and maybe there’s an element of truth in that. I certainly wasn’t happy, even in the first half I could sense we were too relaxed and could have lost three goals in the first half. We could have scored goals as well but were too cavalier. We’re attacking in the way we’re playing at the moment and people can enjoy it but we have to do better defensively.”

United begins the match hot favourites to record a sixth victory in seven Premier League matches this season, but supporters will recall Norwich’s 2-0 victory over the Reds on the last occasion these sides met in April 2005. And in Cleverley’s continued absence Ferguson will again ask Brazilian Anderson to take the creative burden in central midfield, alongside either Darren Fletcher or Michael Carrick.

Anderson’s average performances against Chelsea, Stoke City and then FC Basel have brought fresh question marks over the midfielders ability to perform the role but the Brazilian is looking forward to Norwich’s visit this weekend in a game United must win.

“It doesn’t matter who you play in the league, you always have to play well,” Anderson told United Review.

“I haven’t seen much of Norwich, but I know they are a strong team who will come here and battle. Whenever you play at home you have to perform and we are always confident at Old Trafford in front of our fans. It’s important to be strong at home and our record has been amazing for a long time now. You feel more relaxed, more comfortable when you’re at home and you have that extra spring in your step. It’s important we show that on Saturday and keep our good run going.”

Meanwhile, visitors’ manager Lambert is hopeful of achieving the shock result of the Premier League season to date, although the Scot is missing on loan defender Ritchie de Laet, who is ineligible to play against his parent club. Striker James Vaughan is out for four months after knee surgery, while Zak Whitbread, Elliott Ward and Dani Ayala are all out.

“I hear people say go and enjoy it but you can only enjoy it if you go and can hold your own,” Lambert said.

“In my view, Manchester United are probably the best team in Britain at the minute and along with Barcelona one of the best teams in Europe. That is the magnitude of our achievement in getting into this league. No-one is going to expect us to win anything there. The lads will love the atmosphere and the stadium and we’ll go up there and give it everything we’ve got.”

Effort alone will surely not be enough. But, then, most supporters felt the same of Basel’s visit on Tuesday.

Match Facts
Manchester United v Norwich City, Premier League, Old Trafford, 3pm, 1 October 2011.

Likely Line-ups
United (4-4-2): de Gea; Jones, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra; Nani, Anderson, Fletcher, Young; Rooney; Hernandez. Subs from: Lindegaard, Amos, Fabio, Fletcher, Fryers, Pogba, Valencia, Carrick, Diouf, Giggs, Park, Welbeck, Berbatov.Owen.

Norwich (4-5-1): Ruddy; R Martin, Barnett, Tierney, Naughton; Johnson, Pilkington, Hoolahan, Fox, Bennett; Morison. Subs from: Rudd, Crofts, Surman, Vaughan, Holt, C Martin, Francomb, Naughton, Jackson, Lappin, Smith, Wilbraham.

United: DWWDD
Norwich: LLLWW

Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: S Long, A Watts
Fourth Official: C Foy

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  1. No fuck ups like against Basel

    Score lots

  2. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    no evans turning into a fanny again against that lump holt

  3. RobDiablo says:

    I am struggling to recognize the names of any of Norwich’s proposed starting XI. Surely, their only option is to get ten men behind the ball, try not to get overrun, and convert all of the few chances to score they will have. Oh wait, Anderson is playing for United.

    When you mentioned his “average performances”, did you mean average for him or average for midfielders in general. If the latter, I think you’re being unfairly critical of the effort put forth by most midfielders in the league. Then, to make matters worse, you quote him. The only quotes from Anderson that I want to read will be in regard to how much he enjoyed his time at United and how excited he is about the prospect of playing in La Liga or Seria A.

  4. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    A good performance/win… and for Rooney to come through 90 min with no problems.

  5. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    a good win, and a strong defencive performance, needed.

  6. jones first goal 4-0 @125/1

    unted city crawley pboro is the bet.

  7. Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez start up front for Manchester United against Norwich, while Jonny Evans is in for Rio Ferdinand and Anders Lindegaard replaces David de Gea in goal.

  8. Lindegaard, Valencia, Jones, Evans, Evra, Park, Fletcher, Anderson, Nani, Rooney, Hernandez. Subs: De Gea, Ferdinand, Owen, Berbatov, Giggs, Carrick, Welbeck.

    valencia at right back again

    • RobDiablo says:

      This is the kind of lineup that gives visiting sides hope. Park starts on the left, Young not even on the bench – FFS!

  9. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    haven’t we got a fit right back at the club.

  10. fabio rafael smaling all injured i think. rio mus not be fit or trusted anymore

  11. funny how that fat cunt puts more effort in his interviews than he does in the 90 mins when on the pitch
    box to box midfielder my cock
    more like box of chicken & fries

  12. whom?

  13. ltel said:

    u pulling my knob?

  14. not im serious. who ya talking about? pull your own knob

  15. Stream…. anyone?

  16. still looking spike

  17. cheers

  18. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Sopcast – 106723… working well.

  19. nowt wrong with giving them hope…
    only to lead to heart break

  20. ltel said:
    not im serious. who ya talking about? pull your own knob


  21. anderson is playing well. had 1 bad game.

  22. he had an “average” game at stoke and was poor against chelsea and virtually watching the game on tuesday nite
    that makes 3 games not 1
    he can be so much better

  23. ltel said:
    anderson is playing well. had 1 bad game.

    Exactly. A game in which more players played poorly.

  24. Fergie taking huge gambles as usual

  25. Forget Anderson – who needs him – we’ve got our best midfielder back =)

  26. Where on earth is Young? did not stand his first hairdryer maybe..

  27. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    come on united, score.

  28. Commenter said:
    Where on earth is Young? did not stand his first hairdryer maybe..

    doubt he got the hairdryer
    plenty of others in the queue for that on tuesday nite

  29. No rhythm

  30. terible start, whats going on

    we should be battering these cunts a home

  31. come on sweet pea
    get going united

  32. pressure bilding

  33. I wish we had a midfielder who can score belters from outside of the box

    So long as its not Gibson

  34. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Anyone got a good link non sticking?


    works fine for me.. you might be fucked considering your phone line consists of 2 beer cans attached to piece of string

  36. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    ltel said:

    works fine for me.. you might be fucked considering your phone line consists of 2 beer cans attached to piece of string


    Yeah tbf I think SKY internet is gash!! The whole BT line thing is piss poor. I miss Virgin.

  37. come on u fucking pussies
    wake the fuck up
    its norwich not real cunting madrid

  38. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    The ground looks like Old Trafford, but surely this is last year’s away form. The passing of Park and Anderson is killing United’s attack.

  39. Rooney should bury that

  40. SAF needs to bring out 2 dryers at h/t
    no spark at all ffs
    last week, we missed rooney
    this week, its young
    fucking grow a pair

  41. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Bri… Channel – 106723

    Working very well…

  42. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    The problem is we have a midfield devoid of clever ideas… Scholes would have opened these cunts up like a tin of beans.

  43. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Bri… Channel – 106723

    Working very well…

    Thanks mate!

  44. wasnt anderson supposed to be the new scholes this season?
    ffs he couldn’t open a whores legs in a brothel

  45. Norwich tenacious

    But surely they can’t keep it up in the heat

  46. stick berbs on in place of fat cunt in the middle – at least he can pass the ball

  47. anderson should be pushed far further forward..

  48. ltel said:
    anderson should be pushed far further forward..

    in the stands

  49. Really need a fucking midfielder to have a crack from distance

    Norwich know none of them will hit it and they’re mopping up in the box comfortably

  50. That’s it Nani

    Norwich had 9 players in their box then

    It’s crying out for a belter from 20 or so yards

  51. i thought we were supposed to have our post european hangovers away from home…

  52. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Bri… Channel – 106723

    Working very well…

    It now says offline? any ideas?

  53. I’m so glad we didn’t buy Sneijder, or we wouldn’t get to enjoy this unstoppable midfield combo we’ve got.

  54. every game someone post this.. well done

  55. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    bman said:
    I’m so glad we didn’t buy Sneijder, or we wouldn’t get to enjoy this unstoppable midfield combo we’ve got.

  56. ltel said:
    every game someone post this.. well done

    Well I’m entitled to have my turn.

  57. It certainly looks like it was Cleverly and not Anderson who deserves credit for our exciting early season form. We’ve resumed regular service now though, the same dreary midfield shite as the past two seasons.

  58. yeah blame anderson. overlook fletch

  59. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    brianofnazareth said:
    It now says offline? any ideas?

    Go here…

    and keep trying… one of them must work.

  60. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    fair play tel, they’re both shite useless shitehouses

  61. bman said:
    It certainly looks like it was Cleverly and not Anderson who deserves credit for our exciting early season form. We’ve resumed regular service now though, the same dreary midfield shite as the past two seasons.

    No, right… You can’t deny the top footbal Anderson has played

    The vision, movement, quick one touches etc. He did that, he pulled it off. It wasn’t because Cleverley was also on the pitch FFS. I don’t deny that he plays better with a quick talented football like Clev though.

    It’s really not the midfield that is the problem today either. There is no midfield. All the football is being played on the edge of their area.

  62. Yeah they both look shite, but I think Ando is supposed to be the more attacking one. I think.

  63. come on united
    score united

  64. Fucking monster

    Perfect tackle

    Evans got done

  65. Evra’s been our biggest attacking threat today.

    Awesome tackle by Jones

  66. An early goal by Roo or Hernandez should open the floodgates. Speaking of which, I need a shorter nickname for Hernandez, other than chicarito. Chicarito just seems a bit shit as a nickname.

  67. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    ffs wake up united.

  68. This is more like it

    End to end

  69. mexico

  70. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    sidney said:

    Evans got done

    That’s a regular thing, he’s fucking shite ala Fletcher and Park.

  71. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    sidney said:
    This is more like it

    End to end

    What link you watching?

  72. a goal by anyone in red would be great

  73. brianofnazareth brianofnazareth says:

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Go here…

    and keep trying… one of them must work.

    I’ll try one of those, it’s the same every match day! someone needs to sort this out for us folk!

  74. tenants 1-0 up ffs

  75. brianofnazareth said:
    What link you watching?


  76. It does seem like we are pinning them back right against their goal now though. This is exactly the sort of situation Sneijder would have been invaluable for — unpicking tight, organised defences, or shooting well from distance.

  77. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    The bitters 1 up.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  78. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    han said:
    tenants 1-0 up ffs


  79. I’m fucking sick and tired of watching Ando’s wayward passes wasting our good positions.

  80. change things around SAF please ffs

  81. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    this was supposed to be a good weekend for us sidney

  82. This is woeful now

    Need a change

  83. It must be time for Giggsy.

  84. SAF will put berba on with 5 mins left no doubt and then let him get slated if he don’t score

  85. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    ffs what are we doing.

  86. FFS

    Valencia isn’t a defender

  87. holy fuck what a miss

  88. Don’t know why he took Nani off. He hasn’t looked great, but he always has the ability to pull something out of the bag.

  89. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Good grief.

  90. Cracking player Anderson, I’ve always said so.

  91. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:


  92. Ando you cunt

  93. fucking fat cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunt scores

  94. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Bout fuckin time.

  95. get in..

  96. bman said:
    Cracking player Anderson, I’ve always said so.

    CRACKING lol… we all know that…

  97. get another and put this to bed pls

  98. The way things are going, I’m afraid we’ll concede a dopey goal, so we’ll need another.

  99. danni danni danni danni

  100. “Here goes Welbeck who is big and strong and powerful…” kicks the ball out of play

  101. fucking hell my heart was in my throat there again

  102. wtf is going on?

  103. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    ffs cant defend giving away to many chances.

  104. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Fuck sake… how lucky…

  105. Today right the ABUs are right, we’ve been lucky

  106. Mancini type sub

  107. These guys have nothing to lose, they’re just going to go at us for the last ten minutes, and they might well get something. We ought to be shutting them out of the game altogether, the whole team’s looked very listless today.

  108. The ref has been a cunt today n all

  109. wtf rooney? what was that?

  110. Fucking hell. With a bit of quality up front Norwich would be beating us. They’re a tidy side.

  111. Very unselfish by Park.

  112. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    2-0 welbeck

  113. Unselfish by Park, but also well set up by Welbeck himself.

  114. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Excellent Park/Welbeck one-two.

  115. fucking about bloody time………….

  116. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    bman said:
    Fucking hell. With a bit of quality up front Norwich would be beating us. They’re a tidy side.

    They’re shite!

    And that tells you just how rubbish we’ve been.

  117. He hasn’t scored a chipped shot for fucking years

  118. Yeah, very laboured performance, we made hard work of that. Terrific play by Welbeck for the second goal though — he made it and finished it nicely. I’m telling you I think I’d start him over Hernandez based on current form.

  119. Shocking, but did the job

    The defence is lacking confidence thanks to injuries and tinkering, and they’re not helped by a midfield that doesn’t press

    We’ve definitely hit a rut post-being ace, so long as we keep winning we’ll be reet

  120. woeful display when you see the quality of those in red shirts compared to the working men of norwich
    fucking grow a pair of balls collectively before the scouse game otherwise it is going to be a long hard autumn

  121. no balance in this side. At this rate the scouse will fuck us up.

  122. The return of Vida and Cleverly will give us an injection of energy and bollocks. Would be nice to have the twins back too. I don’t know about Evra though, he’s showing no sign of returning to his best.

  123. madredmonkey madredmonkey says:

    2-0 thank feck for that, lucky?, play bad and win, good.

  124. captainhormone captainhormone says:

    no value in improving our midfield apparently.

  125. RobDiablo RobDiablo says:

    I used four different streams yesterday, but they were all crap – kept going into stop-start mode, so, later, I downloaded the match and watched it again. I need to add Nani and Rooney to the list of players whose passing was killing United’s attack, but there is really no need to single people out in this match; very few of United’s players played well. Once again, they were sluggish and sloppy, and, this time, also very naive in their tactics.

    For only the second time this season, United were facing a side that did not attack in numbers, but United “counterattacked” in exactly the same way as they have been doing, and, until they finally scored from a corner, all of their offensive efforts died as players ran into cul-de-sacs or had their passes and crosses intercepted or cut out by a well organized defense which always seemed to have at least nine men behind the ball. Rather than be in too much of a hurry to score, United should have emulated Barcelona and retained possession, moving the ball quickly back and forth from one flank to the other until an exploitable gap appeared.

    On the plus side, while only Arsenal could compete with United for the number of games missed by their first team through injury, United remain unbeaten and on top of the table.

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