ESPN Soccernet - Correspondents - Manchester United
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Manchester United
Posted by Mark Payne on 08/19/2012

The atmosphere at Old Trafford has been one of enthusiasm and excitement since Robin Van Persie signed on Friday. Fans will be hoping that translates onto the pitch. However, the chances of Everton rolling over to give United an easy victory are zero. The Toffees share all of the grit and determination of their manager David Moyes and have previous when it comes to making United hurt.

All eyes will be on the Dutchman if he is in the starting eleven, but both sides contain intrigue at the start of this season. If Shinji Kagawa can replicate his form from the Bundesliga then Alex Ferguson will be brandishing a wide smile come Monday evening.

On the other hand, if his refusal to shore up the midfield and defence is exposed, his demeanour could be somewhat different. Moyes is a canny enough manager to appreciate the importance of exploiting your opponent’s weaknesses. The United fullbacks can expect some forceful nudges in the opening exchanges.

Everton are well known for starting seasons slowly but, the loss of Jack Rodwell to Manchester City aside, have had a fairly stable summer. Whether they can come flying out of the traps this time is the question on everybody’s lips.

The results earlier in the weekend raised eyebrows and football is back with a bang. Manchester United will be looking to reassert their authority over this league. If Rooney and Van Persie start to gel as early as Monday night, then the sky is the limit.

Watch out for: United’s backline
Despite being linked with Everton’s Leighton Baines all summer the team from Manchester have not bought any defenders. Fabio’s loan to QPR and a spate of injuries leaves the defence looking very vulnerable. Everton can be forgiven if they decide to test the waters with some high balls in.

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Posted by aussiered on 08/19/2012

United Everton always has been a highly competitive game without the snide undertows of the red side of town.
This seasons opener will be no different, I predict a United win 3~1, with Baines not playing.
Already the PL has shown its competitive nature and again this season will see teams nicking unlikely points here and there.
My guess for the United line up De Gea Vidic Rio evra raphael kagawa carrick nani valencia rvp rooney. Bench giggs lindegaard welbeck smalling jones.

Is that his best 11 bar fletcher proving fitness.?

Posted by wayne A on 08/19/2012

come on united

Posted by Payneo on 08/19/2012

I am convinced this will be a draw and RVP will start on the bench, Everton at Goodison is a tough game and I am predicting 1-1 - come on you roads!

Posted by Francisco Villacis on 08/20/2012

Ferguson that awkwardness. That gave the number 7 to Valencia? Valencia playing as a marker is wasting its potential

Posted by Ivan on 08/20/2012

Another year with Ferguson in charge.When will this man go.
yet again he cant pick a team.
We have a winger playing right back
we have a midfielder playing as a central defender
we have a striker playing as a winger.
Yet we have 2 defenders and a winger on the bench.
We even have Berbatov on the bench and no sign of Chicorito.
Ferguson would never have put Berbatov on the pitch so why have him on the bench. MY MIND BOGGLES.
The man is clearly senile.
we need a midfielder, yet we'll go and buy up as many strikers as possible. Common Fergie do the honable thing. GO

Posted by aussiered on 08/21/2012

Ivan, I dont recall seeing your CV being discussed any of the recent vacancies. No doubt your waiting in for the call whilst sitting on the sofa.
Get a life man its one game in, against what is probably one of hardest battling opponents since time begin.
My earlier score prediction was filled with the new season excitment that a long southern winter brings out in you.
we should all be confident in the man and the mission

Believe in United

Posted by Aaron Mark Hendrix on 08/27/2012

not sure if anyone'll read this,but i'll keep the fulham comments to myself for now.The game at goodison,we were 2nd best throughout and deservedly lost.With that being said,we have not always ran rampant at goodison,and a point woulda been nice.So not good,but not that bad either,considering of coz it was the first game.Flashes of brilliance there was,but not good enough obviously.Not sure if that was our strongest 11,in their favoured positions too.Carrick stands out having played out of position,and there's no way we can win the league if he plays the majority of the season in defence.I think Fergie plays him there coz he's a better passer of the ball,and we can start our attack from defense.But tellingly , he fails when it comes to defending.Vida could have covered him better too.Valencia at rightback doesnt really make sense when you have Rafael on the bench,though it did work a couple of times last season,and sometimes,it seems like Valencia defends better than Rafael too..

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