Monday, April 11, 2011

United treble talk is cheap as Reds prepare for Chelsea...

United warmed up for the visit of Chelsea at the weekend with a 2-0 home win against the other West London club Fulham - as tests go, it was a proverbial walk in the park. Berbatov and Valencia were on target for United, Nani was the architect with a brace of assists. It wasn't exactly a great game and no one in a red shirt really stood out, but Nani received the pundits plaudits for his contribution.

It is likely to be an altogether different story when Chelsea visit Old Trafford on Tuesday night for the second-leg of the Champions League quarter final. Chelsea prepared for their trip to Old Trafford with an unconvincing 1-0 home win against struggling Wigan on Saturday.

United are the bookies favorites to go through to the Champions League semi-final
following last week's 1-0 away victory in the first-leg and it could turn out be one of those great European nights at Old Trafford if the home crowd really get up for this very important cup-tie.

According to Frank Lampard and John Terry, Chelsea are hell bent on avenging their 2008 final defeat against United in Moscow. No matter what motivates Chelsea no United supporter needs reminding that Carlo Ancellotti's team are still very much in this tie.

Chelsea have potential match-winners wherever you look in their team, and so it's vital that United defend from front to back throughout what is likely to be a very tense encounter. Ahead of the game, Ferguson will be pondering how best to approach this game; should he start with an 4-4-2 attacking formation or will he go with a more defensive 4-5-1? There's no doubting the vast majority of home fans would opt for attack rather than sit back and attempt to defend that slender lead.

United could conceivably win the treble, but while it is a possibility the reality is it is highly unlikely. Without Wayne Rooney (thanks to David Bernstein and the FA) Manchester City could well come out on top at Wembley on Saturday in the FA Cup semi-final - should that happen any talk of another treble will evaporate in the North London air.

Even if United win on Saturday against City, it would be best for all concerned if we ALL forget about the treble. As Rory McIlroy found out to his cost in the US Masters on Sunday, you must never believe your own publicity because it can and will come back and bite you on your backside.

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