EPL 2011-12 Sunday News, February 26
Manchester United will look to keep up the pressure on cross-town rivals Manchester City who lead them by 2 points at the top of the Premier League charts at the present time when they visit Norwich City for their Barclays Premier League match this Sunday while Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham Hotspur outfit will look to strike Arsenal a mighty blow when they meet in the London derby on the same evening.
Manchester United will have Rio Ferdinand back in the lineup after a layoff but chances of Wayne Rooney making the lineup after missing training thanks to a throat infection are slim. Luis Valencia is a long time absentee while Tom Cleverley has also suffered a fresh injury setback that may or may not keep him out of the game depending on the reports of the scans that he underwent following Thursday’s clash against Ajax.
Sir Alex will still have a healthy roster to pick and choose from with Michael Owen in the reckoning for a spot alongside either Danny Welbeck or Javier Hernandez. Dimitar Berbatov may or may not make the cut depending upon what the gaffer is thinking. Michael Carrick, Nani, and Ashley Young should start while either Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs will take up the midfield spot depending on Cleverley’s availability. Phil Jones, Rafael, Rio Ferdinand and Evra will start at the back while David De Gea is a sure at goal.
However, neutrals and fans alike will keep their eyes at the Emirates Stadium this weekend where a highly motivated and competitive Tottenham Hotspur will challenge Arsenal to keep that coveted fourth spot. A loss for Wenger if Chelsea and Newcastle win today will mean Arsenal will be out of the Champions league spots. The Gunners have not failed to qualify for the Champions League ever since they made it in 1998 and a trophy-less season coupled with a failure to qualify for Europe’s elite footballing tournament may well cost him his job.
Robin van Persie will look to fire Arsenal to victory while Gervinho and Theo Walcott on the wings. Alexander Song, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey may start in the middle of the park while Vermaelen, Per Mertesacker, Johan Djorou and Andre Santos start at defence. Wojciech Szczesny should get the nod at goal.
Harry Redknapp will start with his skipper Ledley King at the center of defense alongside Michael Dawson or William Gallas. Kyle Walker is a sure start on the right back slot while Benoit Assou Ekotto will start on the left. Brad Freidel will start at goal and Scott Parker, Luka Modric and Rafael Van Der Vaart in a balanced formation.
Gareth Bale will start on the left flank while Aaron Lennon starts on the right. Emanuel Adebayor will start as the lone striker against his former team and will be extremely hard to contain considering his electric form.
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