Ahhhh…the local derby. Two sets of fans, joined together in friendly rivalry. Two thousand away fans, trying to make themselves heard above a cacophony of home noise, like a lone violin trying to take on a brass band.
The firm, yet respectful hand shake between the opposition managers, before they walk to their respective..oh, hang on. One of them won’t be there.
The professional battle between a top class away forward and a home back four, made up of first choice, world class int……wait…no that’s not right.
Lee Chung-Yong on the right, terrorising………oh sweet lord.
Jussi Jaaskelainen making his 500th start for Bolton Wanderers. There you go.
In reality, this has to be our best chance to get something from Old Trafford since Michael Ricketts weighed less than twenty stone and had a squeaky clean record, police wise, and Kevin Nolan was still squeezing his spots.
Yes. That long ago.
‘Every time we enter the field we think we have a chance of winning games and we will certainly need all that come Saturday against, for me, the champions elect and a team that as everybody knows, are purely outstanding on every front.’ Oh, will you please STOP. Is there no one, no one, you dislike?
We asked Sir Alex for a quote. He banned us.
‘Vidic is a real miss because he`d be the one to go up against Kevin Davies, who’s still punching his weight on Bolton’s front line. He`s a pivotal figure for them. You need to match muscle with muscle and Vidic certainly does that. In his absence, Chris Smalling and Wes Brown have to be strong.’ Ex United defender Gary Pallister gives his impression of the game. Some of my friends call me Pally. On account of my good looks, obviously.
Manchester United Team News:
Have I got enough space?
Deep breath….Anderson and Lindegaard have knee problems, Hargreaves, by all accounts, is dead. Rio is screwed all the way to East London and back, O’Shea and Rafael/Fabio (one or the other) did their hamstrings on Wednesday. Fletcher is ‘ill’, Vidic has done his calf, Gary Neville is still retired and Sir Alex is in the stand.
Oh, and Paul Scholes is starting a two match suspension.
My good mate, The Moston Red, has said that he may have to strap his boots on.
Player to watch: Javier Hernandez
Jared Borgetti blazed a trail for all Mexican players in the Premier League and, say what you like about Sir Alex, he can pick up a bargain once in a while. Hernandez, Little Pea, Chicarito. Call him what you will, he can score goals and has already passed Borgetti’s record of….two.
Bolton Wanderers Team News:
Mark Davies may solve the Davies/Muamba problem after doing his ankle in the Birmingham game. God knows what he would have done if he’d had 90 mins.
Gretar Steinsson picked up a bug, but is more of a man than Fletcher and is fit to play.
Other than the long termers, that’s it.
Player to watch: Kevin Davies
Now Daniel Sturridge has stopped scoring, it’s time to look to the captain tomorrow. He puts the frighteners up first choice defenders, so how much Chris Smalling and Wes Brown will be looking forward to tomorrow’s game can only be gauged by the tearful phone calls to their mothers tonight.
Match Facts & Stats
Having not won at Old Trafford since 2002, it’s no surprise to find that we are losing 31-16 at United’s various grounds. Since Kevin Nolan netted the winner in 2002, United have scored twenty and we’ve scored three.
Bolton’s leading scorer in the fixture is, naturally, Sir Nat with fourteen, including a couple in some game in 1958. In the Premier League it’s Nolan, with three.
Andre Marriner has taken charge of three Bolton games this season, the 3-1 victory at East Stratford Ham, the 1-0 loss at Citeh, where he did us the favour of sending off Kolarov, and the first Wigan cup game.
His Bolton card watch stands at nine, uncluding SuperKevinDavies twice.
Stick a fiver on 2-0. I will. When it comes in, I’m buying a Porsche.
It’s international break time, so we don’t return until Birmingham away on April 2nd, which worked out well last time.