By Ben Davies
You can read the view of an Everton fan here
This preview is going to be somewhat rushed as I’m short for time. The main talking point of course is Wayne Rooney – will he feature after recent allegations? Personally, I don’t really care what happens in the personal life of a footballer. The time to worry is when off field activities start to affect his performances.
With Everton at Goodison being the next opponents I was originally against the idea of Rooney featuring for obvious reasons. However, even before recent allegations he was already a hate figure, though the welcome on Saturday is likely to be a tad more ferocious. I liked his goal celebration against Switzerland – nothing over the top, a controlled reaction showing maturity. As a consequence I’m leaning towards him featuring – the Man United man has to face the flak at some point.
Phil Jagielka stoked the flames suggesting the reception Rooney will receive will be amusing. I have no problem with these comments. Jagielka is trying to undermine an opponent, attempting to gain a psychological edge – all part of the game. I’d fully expect Everton and other opposition teams attempt to wind up Rooney. All opposition fans pounce on perceived weaknesses to unsettle a player.
No question the fixture at Goodison is the biggest mental test for Rooney – come through this unscathed and he will be fine.
If Rooney is not involved Sir Alex may decide on a 4-5-1 formation with Giggs, Scholes and Fletcher in central midfield and Berbatov as the lone striker. With Rooney, the likely formation is 4-4-2.
With the likes of Jagielka, Fellaini, Saha and Distin, Everton will have an aerial threat. I’d be inclined to start with O’Shea due to his height. He has started the season poorly and was awful during the first half against West Ham, but improved during the second. Hopefully his second half performance will give a boost in confidence. Wes Brown played sixty minutes or so for the reserves against Stockport County in the Manchester Senior Cup and is perhaps not quite ready for first team football. Brown could feature against Rangers.
Rio Ferdinand and Federico Macheda were not involved with the reserves on Thursday, so the pair may play a part at some point.
Park, Hernandez and Valencia have represented their country’s this. The travelling involved may be a factor in Sir Alex’s decision? Nani is likely to start.
Score predication: 1-0 for Manchester United, Berbatov to score the winner.
If you wish to discuss this issue further with myself or other members of the Stretford End Arising community, you can do so in the Forum