Just read that Rooney has been left out for this match (ankle injury) and Giggs is suffering from a hamstring injury, which would leave him sidelined for a couple of weeks.
If that's the case, the lineup could be:
VDS, Evra, Rio, Vidic, Brown, Park, Ando, Scholes, Fletcher, Nani and Berba
Valencia are in a really good form. Will be a tough one. Maybe a narrow win in our favour.
Think we would have gone 4-5-1 even if Rooney had travelled. Would like to see Obertan on the left but Park seems to step up in Champions League games and will provide the chasing back we may need. If Scholes starts, I can't see him starting vs Sunderland, hopefully Carrick will be ready for then.
OK. So Obertan may still go despite playing tonight. Considering Bebe wasn't selected tonight it seems he is ahead of Obertan at the moment. Obertan probably needs the gametime more than Bebe after his injury.
A complicated game that causes me some concern. If it was before the season starts, I'd say that United would go to Mestalla to dominate the game and win with relative ease. (Considering how they played last season).
But now they are playing quite well, leading the Spanish league and we are not so well, despite the 2nd place.
The mission becomes even more difficult without Giggs. Park seems to be the obvious choice for the left wing, although I don't like the idea. Bebe on Starting XI would be a huge surprise and as Obertan played today for the reserves, I don't think he'll travel to Spain.
I believe we'll see a 4-3-2-1 tomorrow.
van der Sar, Brown, Rio, Vidic, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes, Anderson, Nani, Park, Berba.
Arduriz and Soldado are making a very good job up front. Who watched tReal Madrid a few years ago may remember Soldado. He hadn't good performances while there. But at getafe's, he scored 29 goals last season.
Arduriz also had a good season for Mallorca. He scored 23 goals, if i remember Correctly.
Tino Costa, an Argentine who played in Montpellier, also fit well in the team.
But there are other players that deserve attention.Ricardo Costa, a center back who likes to score goals, Topal, Juan Mata, Pablo Hernandez and Ever Banega.
hopefully we take Valencia more seriously than Rangers, Ando-Gibson midfield won't cut it against Valencia.
i think the team could be:
Well, I admit that I only became worried when Scholsey was not available. Yes, Carrick is back but the CL his first match back? I rate Bebe over Obertan as well and SAF just may put him on the left. If he he doesn't start I rather see Chicarito on left rather than Park.
Word in Ireland is SAF is using Rooney injury to give him three weeks off to sort private life out. Be interesting to see if England select him next week but the lad needs a break from media. He is a pale reflection of the player we know he is.
I can see we defending like a 4-5-1 but attacking like a 4-2-4, as we did against Everton in last season. Seems like a defending formation, but if we are or are not playing to draw... That depends on players' attitude.
Took Carrick a while to get his touch back but when he did he showed some of his best football, he even passed the ball forward which is something we didn't seen from him much last season.
Must keep Rio fit in my opinion, everything seems a lot calmer when we're under pressure with Rio at the back, back problems seem to have gone away *touch wood*, knee doesn't seem to be troubling him either *touch wood*.
Carrick improved as the game went on, started off poorly really, giving the ball away easily.. but improved a lot.
Rafael the man of the match for me, been given poor ratings in most sites i checked, sad really, i thought it was his best defensive performance till date! atleast one of the best, he may not have attacked but keeping Mata silent is a great achievement and he was ever present, important headers, tackles and interceptions too. His tackle to stop Saldado at the edge of the box was my highlight of the game other than of course Hernandez's goal..
Well three points and a clean sheet sure is a better sounding match summary. Truth lies a bit below that form my view.
VDS - A- : Fine game only once did I worry with his choices of what to do in his box. Took control and you could see that Vida and Rio were glad to have the "clean sheet triangle" back working.
Rafa - A : got forward at times well and looked much better when needed in defense. Maturing very well Indeed!
Vida - A+ - Not a lash out or reply attack for the stomp. I can't say I'd do the same if I saw you stomp me looking at me when you stomped me. I might have to take my RED and leave.
Rio - A+ : Stated above the "clean sheet triangle" looks to be on track for a long run again of very good matches. Rio is working into fitness well.
Evra - C : Got forward but lacked the creative force to make much happen when he got there. In defense he missed a few tackles that he needs to say on his feet and not lunge leaving the back line exposed.
Carrick - C+ : First half he looked pretty poor in passing forward and trying to figure out where he wanted to go with the ball. Still he did great in defense sitting in front of Rio and Vida. I think his passing gets better with more time in the side as seen the last two years.
Park - B : He did his job again against teams that don't pack in the box. Ran into open areas and made their defense have to follow him allowing space for others to get forward.
Fletch - B : Worked the triangle with Ando and Carrick well at times. Did not get close enough to Berba to help much in attack though for my liking.
Ando - A : Would like more creative thought from him but I think he looks good as a forward triangle midfielder. I would like to see him get a few more run outs at that area of the game to see what his fitness and comfort level becomes.
Nani - B- : Nani kills me he is so very talented but has to try to play like someone else and not stick to what he does best. When he has those games we normally see him flash forward 10 or 15 times in a match and have no clue what to do with the ball when he gets to the box. Very poor crosses into the box from set pieces 3 not even past the first man in the box, wasteful. Some great tracking back from him and that is why he is "better" then the guy he tries to play a lot like.
Berba - B+ : Held the ball up well and made telling runs but there was very little support for him. He looks better and better even in games he does not score. Sure seems to be getting a hold of the Man United way of playing.
Kiko - A : Very short amount of time and knew what to do with the time giving to him. He was in open spaces running away from defenders for the entire time.
Chicharito - A : Game winner was brill and he could have had two more with a bit of luck. Chicharito will be someone special in United's future he has every talent needed to be great and with SAF to teach him the sky is the limit for this little pea!
This little pea went to spain.
This little pea came of the bench.
This little pea scored the winner.
This little pea kissed the crest.
And We all went "Chi cha rito" all the day long!
Over all grade
Manchester United - A- : I can't give any less then an A with a clean sheet and all three points. Very tough to go to Spain and come away with three points. Much improved over the team that leaked two in Ferrgie Time.
Not the best of games, United don't deserved to win, but we must be happy with the result.
Anderson confirmed my suspicions. He should play as attacking midfielder. Good performance today.
Ferdie and Vidic were superb today. we've Got our defense back. Very good display by Rafa as well. Hopefully, he'll be the first choice for the RB from now on.
On the other hand, I still see problems with marking in the midfield. Carrick looked sloppy today (Although he has played better in the second half) and Fletcher is not in his best days.
Fortunately we have two shinning players that decided the match in our favor.
We just won what was, on paper,the toughest game in the group.Certainly wasn't comprehensive, but I'd have taken a win anytime,especially after we found out Rooney,Scholes,Giggs didn't travel and that Rio opted to stand on the plane for most of the flight to avoid aggravating his back.
Great finish from Hernandez,and an equally great ball in from Macheda.The future strike partnership?
Oh and Hernandez's winning goal was Man Utd's 26th in the Champions League by a substitute player, setting a new record and surpassing Barcelona's total of 25.
MOTM imo was Nani for us. He still has lots to improve for sure but he has developed a consistency whereby nearly every game he contributes something positive to our play and today he was the one that made a great run to put Macheda in a position for his assist.
Reading on a lot of websites about 'smash and grab' about our victory which I dont really get. Aside from Hernandez's goal I can count Berba's effort in 1st half that went inches wide/over, Berba's solo run in 2nd half that brought a good save from Cesar and also Hernandez's effort that hit the post. For them I could only count the Soldado open goal and a few efforts from outside the box which never caused VDS major trouble. I didnt think it was a great performance by any means but lets not forget Rafa, Rio, Carrick and Ando have barely started anygames so far this season so it was always going to be lethargic in patches. I'm pleased all these guys got a large chunk of the game and came through with a magnificent win. I think this game has left me the most satisfied out of the rest of our games this season by far. If we're to win trophies this season then we need to defend well and tonight we did. There were some individual mistakes that brought them on to us in dangerous positions but we had another defensive discipline and midfield energy to ensure it was always going to take a brilliant piece of play or an individual error to break us down (see Soldado open goal). I was pleased with what we did tonight and also it showed how important a player Rio Ferdinand is to us. He and Vidic are a formidable partnership. I know its not to everyones taste but when we play 4-5-1/4-3-3 we are so, so tough to beat...
Seems to be the World Cup players who are struggling most. Evra, Park, Rooney, Carrick. Vidic and Hernandez are doing all right though, did I miss someone out? Hernandez did come back before the rest, maybe it;s just the lack of any pre-season for some of them. Hopefully Evra will do a lot of work over the international break as he looks like he's lost a bit of pace and he's generally just not with it fully at the moment. International break coming up is a bit of a blessing. Berba will get to recharge his batteries too, now he's retired.
looking at him,you could say he is as fit as ever.He can play every match right till the end of the match.United's staff have really worked hard with him and build him up physically as well.It's kind of similar with what they did with Ronaldo,who was not so effective before the WC 06' but the moment he returned from the world cup you knew we had a different player.He started putting in good crosses,made constant runs inside the box and scored handful of goals as well.It's the same case with Nani.He looks as fit as ever.He is going to be brilliant for us this season.