Man United: Fellaini Needs To Perform And Januzaj Has To Start
It's been a week of a few ups and downs for Man United (with the derby thrashing from City counting as a particularly hysterical low) but against West Brom we should be able to pull our sorry selves together, especially after a good win against Liverpool in the cup during the week.
Here are five things I'd like to see from United against the Baggies:
1) Something that resembles defending
Despite keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool, and despite a quite brilliant individual performance from the seldom seen Chris Smalling, United’s defending in recent games has been hugely unlike the David Moyes teams of previous years. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge may well have had one or two goals apiece on Wednesday were it not for some wasteful and rusty finishing, whilst Manchester City (and to some extent, Bayer Leverkusen) made United’s back four look like as alive as a carrot with a face drawn on it.
Smalling might well have earned himself a place in the starting eleven, and with Rafael back to shore up the occasionally ordinary back four, the home side may just make it two clean sheets from two.
2) A Fellaini Fight-back
In the 4-2 win over Leverkusen Marouane Fellaini looked like he’d been playing for United ever since he butted his first head, but in his second appearance against his new club’s fiercest rivals he put in a performance that had him reaching to cover his face with his fluffy mane.
Such is the nature of United, you don’t get too many second chances (although Anderson might beg to differ), and the big Belgian will be hoping to come out all elbows blazing and produce a performance that can persuade many of the remaining doubters that he is worthy of the hallowed number 31 shirt.
3) The children of the revolution
With Ashley Young still producing performances that can only be summed up by a picture of a cabbage drawn by a child, and with Messrs Nani and Valencia still working their way back towards their collective best, a game against West Brom, who (with no disrespect) United should expect to beat by a goal or two, is the perfect opportunity for Moyes to play his trump cards.
Anybody who saw both Januzaj and Zaha on the preseason tour will be in no doubt of their talents, and a match against decent Premier League opposition will do nothing short of boosting their confidence, as well as going some way to placate the cries of the Old Trafford crowd. Plus, with Januzaj still waiting to put pen to paper on a new contract, a bit of game time might just give him a thirst for the taste of what is surely to come.
4) A bit of R&R
As much as I love Javier Hernandez, despite that terrible TERRIBLE nickname, and as much as I loved his wonderful deft flick to score the mid-week winner against Liverpool, part of me just longs for a Rooney & Robin reunion.
After suffering a groin/hamstring/back injury form carrying the weight of his teammates this season, Van Persie has been declared fit to play again, and with Wayne Rooney playing suspiciously like a man who wants a new contract, having arguably two of the in-form strikers in the world in the same team is too tantalising a prospect to turn down. Their partnership seemed to blossom in the few games they have played together this season, particularly against Bayer, and a few more games alongside each other might well see something extraordinary click into place.
5) Danny Welbeck
That’s it, really. Just Danny Welbeck. And lots of him.
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