Wayne stays mainly away from Spain

Manchester United will face Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday without Wayne Rooney, who has succumbed to an ankle injury and did not travel. The problem, which precipitated the striker’s substitution against Bolton Wanderers, will force a change in tactics from Sir Alex Ferguson, who dare not lose to the La Liga leaders.

Rooney’s injury was initially diagnosed as nothing serious by manager Ferguson leading the speculation that the striker has been dropped on the basis of his continuing poor form. Whatever the truth, Ferguson’s thinking for the match has been clarified by his star player’s absence. Always likely to deploy a lone-forward at Mestalla, the Scot no longer has to consider the previously unthinkable – dropping Rooney on form, or using the former Evertonian on the left wing.

Such is Dimitar Berbatov’s form – and turnaround in fortunes – that he will certainly start just his second Champions League fixture in the past ten.

The Scot has put extra store in United’s result against Valencia after the dour stalemate against Rangers at Old Trafford earlier this month. Lose to Valencia tomorrow night and United’s dropped points against the Scottish champions could still prove costly in a group the Reds are supposed to win comfortably.

If Ferguson’s last-minute dash to watch Spain’s ‘other giant’ caught supporters and the media by surprise last Wednesday, there is little doubt how important the Scot now rates the result. United has not failed to qualify from the group stages since the disastrous 2005/6 campaign in which Ferguson’s side lost to both Benfica and Lille.

But if United is to take a point from the trip south then Ferguson’s men will have to do without both Rooney and Ryan Giggs, who is likely to sit out the next fortnight with a hamstring strain. Paul Scholes played the full 90 against Bolton on Sunday and did not travel with Ferguson’s 22-man party. The 35-year-old midfielder rarely completes two matches back-to-back.

With Owen Hargreaves still on the sidelines, Michael Carrick returning to training this week and Anderson short of minutes after a lengthy rehabilitation, Ferguson is short of options in midfield.

Chalkboard v ValenciaAlongside Darren Fletcher, two of Anderson, Darron Gibson or Carrick will come into a three-man central midfield. Park Ji-Sung is most likely to take Giggs’ role on the left flank, although Bébé travelled with the squad. Berbatov will start as United’s lone-striker.

United supporters will have much to ponder about United’s creativity in Scholes’ absence, with Park likely to reprise his role as the Reds’ ‘defensive attacking midfielder’ and Nani the essential outlet.

Ferguson also has concerns about Rio Ferdinand, who sat out the draw with Bolton as a precaution, but has completed just 90 minutes of first team football this season. The 32-year-old England captain is likely to partner Nemanja Vidic at the heart of a United defence that has conceded seven times on the road this season.

“It is a big concern conceding so many away goals,” captain Vidic said.

“We have lost too many goals in away games and we have to stop that. We haven’t given that many goals away in the past. We have always looked strong and haven’t given teams so many chances.

“We have to be much better in Spain. Valencia are in decent form and won their first [Champions League] match 4-0 and are now top of La Liga. That shows how well they are playing at the moment.”

“At Bolton, there was one goal conceded from a set-piece and one came after a corner, which is not good. We are giving teams too many opportunities and they are taking them. We have to work on the small details and keep coming again.

“It is hard to explain what is going wrong. It is not the true Manchester United. It does have to be sorted out very quickly.”

Starting at Mestalla on Wednesday night, although with Jonny Evans and John O’Shea seemingly make the worst fist of a good opportunity this season, nothing is guaranteed on that front.

Meanwhile, Valencia will seek to extend United’s barren run in Europe against Spanish opposition. Ferguson’s side has won only once in Spain and failed to score on the last three visits. Indeed, United has faced some tough fixtures against the port side.

The clubs first met in the 1982/83 UEFA Cup, with Valencia winning 2-1 at Mestalla following a goalless draw in Manchester two weeks earlier. The sides met in the Champions League in 1999/2000, United winning 3-0 at home and drawing 0-0 away, with Valencia and not United making the final. The following season Valencia again went all the way with the sides playing out two draws in the group stage.

With the club due to move into a new 75,000-seater Nou Mestalla in the north-west of the city in 2011, this may be the last chance for United supporters to expeirience the intimidating Mestalla atmosphere, with stands close to the pitch and steeply banked seats rising high above the pitch.

Despite the club’s stature, Los Che are Spain’s surprise league leaders this season, with Unai Emery’s side seemingly not regressing after the sale of David Silva and David Villa to Manchester City and Barcelona for a combined £50 million fee. Emery’s side play an attacking brand of football with wingers Juan Manuel Mata and Joaquín Sánchez providing pace and width.

It’s a threat that Ferguson has clearly in mind.

Opposition
Valencia – 433 – César Sánchez; Bruno, Navarro, R Costa, Alba; Rodríguez, Topal, Fernandes; Joaquín, Soldado, Mata. Subs from: Albelda, Domínguez, Aduriz, Feghouli, Guaita, Dealbert, Stankevičius, Hernández, Banega, Mathieu, Monteiro, T Costa, Moyà.

United squad
Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Amos, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, O’Shea, Evans, Rafael, Brown, Anderson, Bebe, Nani, Carrick, Gibson, Fletcher, Park, Hernández, Berbatov, Macheda, Owen.

Officials
Referee: Viktor Kassai
Assistant referees: Gabor Eros & Tibor Vamos
Fourth official: Ferenc Bede
Additional assistant referees: Mihaly Fabian & Tamas Bognar

Form
Valencia – WWWWDW
United – WDDWWD

Sharing is caring

Comments

  1. Triggs says

    I agree with your team, but I think Gibson will get the nod over Carrick, simply because of minutes played this season and the goal threat he offers which the other midfielders dont.

    Anyone who saw how Bebe failed to cover the full back and chased the ball at Scunny will know that there is zero chance of him starting on the left. Although there is a slim possibility of Hernandez starting there.

    Again we’re relying on Nani and Berba to create everything.

    • mongoletsi says

      WORD! WORD! WORD!

      SAF will no doubt continue with his adoration of O’Pie/O’Gay/O’Shit/Etc as he sees him as decent cover for Giggs, or for Hargo/Fletch, or Evra, or Nev, or Rio, or VDS, or Berba… etc WHY GOD WHY?!?!?

  2. says

    With Jessica Alba at left back, she will surely be used to distract United’s players.

    On a more serious note, it wouldn’t surprise to see Aritz Aduriz starting upfront as he has done recently.

  3. triggs says

    I think it’s best to rest Rooney (whether injured or not). If he sits out the Sunderland game too he then won’t have to go off with England and he can concentrate on getting fit (mentally and physically).

  4. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    nah not carrick or gibson, neville right back oshea in midfield, big european game away from home requires ‘experience’

    2-0 valencia

  5. RobDiablo says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    nah not carrick or gibson, neville right back oshea in midfield, big european game away from home requires ‘experience’

    2-0 valencia

    Oh god, you’re right; that’s just the sort of thing Sir Alex would do.

  6. Lord Cantona says

    Rafael at RB and then finally we will have our strongest defence with Evra, Vidic and Ferdinand back! Gary Neville MUST retire, he is so awful now and off the pace! Carrick will be in with Fletcher and Anderson/Gibson, with Berb, Nani and Park the attackign 3!!

  7. says

    Just means Brown at RB and O’Shea in midfield! 6 years ago today Rooney made his debut for United. Eric Djemba-Djemba also played in that game. Perhaps we should draft him in. We could play a 4-6-0 formation with six defensive midfielders spread across the middle of the park.

  8. Bill says

    Rooney out for 3 weeks.

    Need an experienced striker to cover who has good movement & proven goalscoring record. Wait a second – enter Michael Owen!!!

    I would say there’s a good chance he’ll start vs. West Brom & Bursaspor at home. On the bench for Valencia, Sunderland & Stoke as United go 4-5-1.

  9. RobDiablo says

    Unregistered User said:
    … with Berb, Nani and Park the attackign 3!!

    The forward three, to be more precise. The only Park attacks from the left is my patience.

  10. sukhy5 says

    It would be wonderful if Fergie threw Bebe in the deep end.

    It’s what dreams are made of.

    Go on lad, make a name for yourself.

  11. baggio365 says

    tbh, i would love to see that happen. but fergie has said many a time, that bebe just isnt ready for first team action yet. his body probably couldnt cope with 90mins at this level. and the last thing we need, is for him to have his confidence shot in a bunch of games where he isnt match fit.

  12. danniitronix says

    thank God Fergus has finally got the bollocks to drop Shrek. he has been shit despite what the rooney bummers have been saying – even though he “work’s hard for the team” he has been turd. fuck him out for a month – he shld have had a rest before the season started anyway so this is just what he needs. he can sit in the spare room with a mapcker of JP specials, a couple of bags of chips and a few cans of kestrel. he needs to get fit and his mind straight.

    also think that fergus’ balls have dropped again, playing owen, berbs and mecheda in final few minutes of bolton game to try and nick a win showed bollocks.

    nani is looking really tasty – he still can’t cross for shit but nor could CR but that will come. gonna be our player of the season if he can just stay fit. play him every game.

  13. triggs says

    sukhy5 said:
    It would be wonderful if Fergie threw Bebe in the deep end.

    It’s what dreams are made of.

    Go on lad, make a name for yourself.

    I’d love that. But he didnt look like he had a clue dfensively against Scunny, so cant imagine him being drafted in. But he must be impressing because Fergie could have esily brought Obertan on this trip.

    It would be good to see him given the last 25 mins

  14. Dave says

    anyone else think we should flog rooney off to madrid in the summer for 30M + Benzema?

    then with the money buy a decent right back and creative midfielder?

    • Triggs says

      After seeing Benzema last night, I’d say he’s in worst form than Rooney. Plus if you think Rooney is under the spotlight, just imagine the field day the press would have with Benzema’s underage sex scandal which is still looming.

      So no!

  15. Sidsidney says

    Unregistered User said:
    anyone else think we should flog rooney off to madrid in the summer for 30M + Benzema?

    then with the money buy a decent right back and creative midfielder?

    Not really

    I’d rather use United’s profits to buy a creative midfielder

  16. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Unregistered User said:
    anyone else think we should flog rooney off to madrid in the summer for 30M + Benzema?

    then with the money buy a decent right back and creative midfielder?

    FFS… Wake up you numpty…

    WE got 80 mill for Ronnie and spent fuck all… what makes you think we’d see any of that cash?

  17. RobDiablo says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    FFS… Wake up you numpty…

    WE got 80 mill for Ronnie and spent fuck all… what makes you think we’d see any of that cash?

    Even if Sir Alex were given the money, he’d spend it on three young strikers we’ve never heard of.

  18. sheesh says

    Why is Obertan not in Spain? If he can’t even get selected when Nani is shunted to the right, he’s never going to get picked. Park will probably play tonight then.

  19. sheesh says

    TEAM NEWS

    van der Sar

    Rafael
    Ferdinand
    Vidic
    Evra

    Fletcher
    Carrick
    Anderson

    Nani
    Park

    Berbatov

    SUBS: Kuszczak, O’Shea, Smalling, Gibson, Macheda, Hernandez, Owen.

  20. RobDiablo says

    sheesh said:
    TEAM NEWS

    van der Sar

    Rafael
    Ferdinand
    Vidic
    Evra

    Fletcher
    Carrick
    Anderson

    Nani
    Park

    Berbatov

    No Evans, O’Shite or Park in the starting line-up.

    You’ve got Park playing on the left.

  21. han says

    valencia are in even more financial shit than us
    i did kind of feel sorry for them watching the pre match item on tv
    hmmmm
    actually thats definitely gone now
    hope we will get a point at least and a goal or 3 would be grrrrrrreat

  22. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    townsend is fuckin obsessed with this idea rafael is any more of a liability than oshea

    and apparently nani and berbatov have had ‘solid’ starts to the season ffs

  23. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    fucking infuriates me how that cunt gabriel clarke interrupts people while they answer the questions he’s fucking asking them to ask another one, that’s the opposite of interviewing ffs that’s just having a big gob ffs

  24. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Unregistered User said:
    thats not the point, i asked if you think thats what we should do, not what will happen with the money if we sold rooney … chump

    Well then, seeing as how this is just “pretend”… let’s all get on our action man gear, storm the Glazers fortress in Florida… hold the cunt to ransom, force him to sell the club to the fans for 50 pence and spend the Ronaldo money on cyborg versions of Fat Ronaldo, Maradona, and Robson…

    How’s that… ya tool?

  25. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    alrite start park aside

    I hate “alright starts”… we had an “alright start” against Barcelona… and got done by a fuckin shit goal against the run of play.

    Let’s run these jumped up Wallys into the pitch.

  26. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Looks like Anderson is seeing a lot of the ball… he’s going to get a real chance to show up tonight… let’s hope he takes it.

  27. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    I don’t understand this formation at all.

    It looks to me like Fletcher, Carrick Park in the middle…

    And Nani, ANDERSON, Berbs.

    Is that right? Is Anderson in the middle of a front three?

  28. says

    United at 74% passing right now… not quite good enough. Park, Nani and Anderson the guilty parties. According to the live stats that is. Interesting shape tho, with Anderson just off Berbatov.

  29. han says

    pretty fking woeful stuff
    these guys are there for a buggering if we can be remotely arsed
    park is playing like he doesnt know his team mates
    nani is infuriating
    berbs is sniffing for the ball too deep
    having said that though, if we can string a few passes together, i reckon we can give them somethng to think about 2nd half
    vidic and rio looking good

  30. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    park embarrassingly bad

    Yep… but some here actually think… he’s a terrific little player.

    Could any one of those people speak up now and tell me, why?

  31. sheesh says

    That moment in 44th minute typifies why I think Park is shit. Run into a blind alley, fall over and give the ball away.

    Fletcher has contrived to be even shitter. Has he even had a decent game all season?

    Evra’s going to be treated for the sores on his arse at half time. Getting raped with worrying regularity in that area of the pitch.

    We’re lucky to be going in at half time on level terms. 2 or 3 excellent crosses in the box have gone unpunished.

  32. RobDiablo says

    I wonder if Queiroz was the coach who taught things like passing – preferably to a teammate – and receiving passes. If so, United need to bring him back ASAP. Aside from the heroic efforts of Park down the left, United look dreadful. Don’t think I’ll be downloading the .avi files for this one either.

  33. captainhormonecaptainhormone says

    this game is so bad im contemplating injecting my cock with aids, whilst hammering 9 inch nails into my bollocks

  34. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    remember when ronnie made southgate look a fucking twat when he was boro boss

    ‘maybe I’m too good’

    good times…

  35. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    sheesh said:
    That moment in 44th minute typifies why I think Park is shit. Run into a blind alley, fall over and give the ball away.

    Fletcher has contrived to be even shitter. Has he even had a decent game all season?

    Evra’s going to be treated for the sores on his arse at half time. Getting raped with worrying regularity in that area of the pitch.

    We’re lucky to be going in at half time on level terms. 2 or 3 excellent crosses in the box have gone unpunished.

    Sheesh… I have a theory about Fletcher.

    Since we didn’t get any midfield upgrades… Ferguson is asking Fletcher for a contribution, that’s beyond his ability.

    Fletcher is a midfield battler, and when he sticks to that task, he’s pretty good, but when he tries to get too forward, and involved in an attack, his limitations are exposed.

    Fletcher should be told to stick to the job of ball winning and disruption… and excel at that.

  36. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    brianofnazareth said:
    If I were more savvy on the old PC I’d do a poll on just HOW SHIT IS CARRICK….??

    Fucking shocking.

    Our whole team has been shit.

  37. uncleknobheadffsuncleknobheadforfucksake says

    rafa and the centre halves have been good, and anderson was our best midfielder, so of course he was the one taken off by the horse rimming ginsoak cunt

  38. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    good goal

    take it owens playing at the weekend then

    Maybe not… that goal should give Chico a bit of confidence, and encourage Ferguson to give him a chance.

  39. says

    4-5-1 in away games will be the norm after this – perfect smash & grab!

    Happy that Rafael played well, if he could hit some form we have our RB for the next 10 years.

  40. han says

    sweet pass by our roman gladiator – actually not so gladiatorial judging by the fracas with their goalie – defence looked pretty solid compared to the past 4 weeks so all in all a great result. I for 1 would have settled for a point at 7.45pm tonight

  41. Sidsidney says

    Solid performance after the recent terrible defensive bullshit. They’re quality, and they never looked like scoring, so that can only be a good thing.

    Having 3 in midfield with Carrick protecting the defence worked well

    But the kids won it for us. Nani’s run was class and Macheda does well to square it.

    Pleased to see Ando further forward too

  42. Sidsidney says

    uncleknobheadforfucksake said:
    itv fucking love us now we gave em a goal

    They shunt have hyped it up in the first place

    Was always gonna be a boring away game

    Southgate can fucking die thouugh

  43. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    Bill said:
    4-5-1 in away games will be the norm after this – perfect smash & grab!

    Happy that Rafael played well, if he could hit some form we have our RB for the next 10 years.

    Maybe, but he’s so fuckin fragile… looks like he’s hurt himself again tonight.

  44. Sidsidney says

    Bill said:
    Carrick still looks lacking in confidence. If his passing is off then he doesn’t really offer much. Anderson had the better game.

    Doesn’t offer much… he was protecting the back 4 all night

    At times he was shite and played us into trouble (especially in the first half), but he’s class for positioning himself in the right place, winning it without going to ground and playing it simple/long

    He should have asked for the ball more tonight though. When Ferdinand & Vidic had no option, they went long, and it’s Carrick’s job to stop that. He’s the link between midfield and defence so he should be picking it up from the back 4 and playing it. He should always be available.

    But still, if he nails some form then we’ll be much harder to score against

  45. sheesh says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Yep… but some here actually think… he’s a terrific little player.

    Could any one of those people speak up now and tell me, why?

    I asked this very question on another football forum after we had drawn again. Apparently, it’s because he finds space and makes runs.

    In other words, he’s a headless chicken.

    Sometimes in football you don’t get what you deserve…but when the reverse happens the feeling can be so so sweet.

    On the same football forum, I got shouted down for thinking that Rafael is a better player than O’Shite.

  46. kramer says

    i’m reasonably happy. surprised at the win to be honest.

    park was dogshit. anderson did well considering his absence. carrick needs to get some form going. sweet goal from chicharito. a touch to take the ball away from his body and bang!

    the best part was rafael. i’m surprised fergie started him.

  47. brianofnazarethbrianofnazareth says

    sheesh said:
    I asked this very question on another football forum after we had drawn again. Apparently, it’s because he finds space and makes runs.

    In other words, he’s a headless chicken.

    Sometimes in football you don’t get what you deserve…but when the reverse happens the feeling can be so so sweet.

    On the same football forum, I got shouted down for thinking that Rafael is a better player than O’Shite.

    Can you please point me in the direction of this clearly retarded forum…..

  48. Alfonso BedoyaAlfonso Bedoya says

    brianofnazareth said:
    Can you please point me in the direction of this clearly retarded forum…..

    Ask Dave… he probably moderates there.

  49. says

    Alfonso Bedoya said:
    Ask Dave… he probably moderates there.

    me im innocent Alf but great to see that you still love me SOS is just sitting there doing nowt as were all here, dont think ive seen Sheesh over at the CAF so its probably R.O.M

Leave a Reply

Login with your Social ID

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *