It’s another Super Sunday on Sky. Man United take on Everton at what will be a very nervous Old Trafford and Manchester City are away to an already doomed Wolverhampton Wanderers.
For United today will be a huge test. Lunch time kick offs never seem to suit us and the doubts are starting to creep in. For me the biggest mystery of the last few United games has been Wayne Rooney’s form which seems to have dipped , and that’s despite his two goals last week against a very poor looking Aston Villa side. Everton will be a different prospect , their league form has been excellent and although they aren’t as good away from home , it’s very rare for them to not bother turning up against United. On the plus side for United , the absence of Leighton Baines will affect the balance of their side and it’s quite telling how Everton have managed to get Pienaar playing again after his very disappointing period at Tottenham , whether it’s a case of Pienaar feeling back in his comfort zone , or the influence of him teaming up again with Leighton Baines is hard to say. I for one am very happy that Baines is missing today , but Pienaar’s work rate and creativity have certainly given Everton a huge boost and I suspect that’s why Jelavic has been scoring and Darren Gibson has settled into the side and shown his work rate and range of passing.
It’ll be interesting to see how the midfield battle develops today , Darren Gibson versus Paul Scholes , Fellaini on good form , a free scoring Jelavic and let’s not forget the incentive of beating United at Old Trafford for the first time in 20 years , last time it was a rather embarrassing 3-0 defeat with Mo Johnston and Peter Beardsley amongst Everton’s scorers. Everton know this is a big game and an ideal one to blot out the memory of losing last week’s semi-final against Liverpool, so nobody expects it to be easy and there’s definitely lots of potential for dropped points.
On the plus side United know they have to win their remaining matches and they are champions again. Nani is back and Valencia is in fine form , and hopefully will have Pienaar running back for most of the game , and even if Everton had a fit Leighton Baines, Valencia had the strength and pace to give him a rather torrid time and is again for me United’s key man in breaking Everton down.
So how did last week’s semi-final defeat effect Everton . I suspect that they’ll be in the doldrums and despite all the talk about big games and not being an easy side to beat , from what I saw of the way Everton sat back in the 2nd half in a semi-final in which they were leading I’ve got a feeling United might just walk it today, especially if we get Wayne Rooney raring to go and having an outstanding game and I’m going to stick my neck out on this one and say 3-0 to United. There are big games to come including next Monday’s so-called title decider against Man City, but for me if United can take today’s game by the scruff of its neck and get a goal in the first 20 minutes I think we’ll romp the rest of the season heading smoothly for number 20.
The extra pressure on United is that they now have man City returning to good form and breathing down their necks. City looked finished a few weeks ago , they seemed cast adrift and their players looked tired. I’ve a feeling that United opening an 8 point gap on the blues , made them feel as if the title was over and they relaxed and accidentally found their form without the weight of expectation. Wolverhampton Wanderers have been the poorest team in the league this season and also one of the unluckiest , and it’s hard to imagine them getting even a point against City , but historically they were always a bit of a bogey team for City and I’m hoping that there’s still a hoodoo against the blues hovering over Molynieux but with Tevez back he already seems to have boosted Silva’s tired form and Aguero is back to looking unplayable , no matter which way you look at it I can’t see anything happening here but a very comfortable City win by at least 3 goals , yes it’s still all to play for.