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Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 12:37:00 AM
Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 12:39:43 AM
Man United need Wayne Rooney - with or without headgear - more than ever to haul the side out of the doldrums, beginning with the home clash against Stoke on Saturday. - AFP"
THESE are trying times for a Manchester United fan.
The Red Devils currently sit eighth in the Premier League table with only 11 points – our worst return of points from a top-flight season since 1989-90 (eight points).
Even if we record a win against struggling Stoke City, we’d still be in the same position at the end of the week as Southampton and Everton both have a four-point lead over us.
This is a must-win match for United as they face a Stoke side who have failed to score in three successive Premier League games. The Red Devils, however, have not won either of their last two league games at Old Trafford.
It was back in October 2005 that they failed to win three in a row there within a single season.
Looking to build on their Champions League success in midweek against Real Sociedad, United need to string a set of results together to keep pace with the leaders.
Strangely enough, Moyes’ go-to-man right now is Wayne Rooney, the England international who many predicted would not work well with the Scotsman.
Rooney was inspirational in United’s narrow win against Real Sociedad, and if he could emulate the same performance against Stoke, who have the worst shots-at-goal ratio in the Premier League this season, and then against Norwich (in the League Cup), Fulham and Sociedad, United could build a fair head of steam before meeting The Gunners.
To be honest, the key to United’s success has always been consistency, something that we are currently lacking.
This season, United have started with 24 different players in the Premier League – more than any other side. In the whole of the 2012-13 season, we only started 24 different players.
I am coming to terms that the manager, who never had a squad this big in his entire career at Everton, does not know how to rotate his best players to keep them fresh for every game but this is slowly changing.
The gaffer rested some key players in midweek and still managed to squeeze out a win. Against Stoke at Old Trafford, the likes of Nani, Marouane Fellaini, Adnan Januzaj and Robin van Persie would be available for selection, making United extremely strong on paper.
If you are a United fan, you’d want Van Persie to play in this match. The Dutchman has scored eight goals in seven Premier League games against Stoke, making The Potters his second favourite side in England. Only Blackburn have conceded more to him.
Can this game be United’s turning point in the season? I certainly hope so.
Nevash predicts a 2-0 win for Manchester United
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