Red Rants Archives for January 2011

Champions League Final Preview: Manchester United vs. Barcelona – Can United Upset The Odds?

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To quote famous American sportscaster Marv Albert, it has come down to this.

After 59 matches and more than 5,000 minutes of football, the last and most important match in Manchester United's 2010/11 season is little more than 24 hours away.

Any season in which you win the Premier League title, and a record-breaking one at that, is a very good season, but one match stands between this campaign being just very good and it being great.

Manchester United vs. Barcelona: Champions League Final Live Blog

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Tomorrow evening, the center of the football world will be Wembley Stadium in London, as Manchester United take on Barcelona in a highly-anticipated Champions League final.

Along with the tens of thousands that will fill Wembley, millions around the world will be tuned in from their televisions and computers to catch the action.

2011/12 United home kit is available for pre-order

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The 2011/2012 Manchester United home kit has been revealed and it will be available from June 3, 2011. However, you can pre-order the kit now so you will receive your shirt on June 3rd.

The simple red shirt with a black and white striped collar is quite similar to the current home shirt. The only major differences are the style of collar and the white stripe on the shoulder and arms has been removed.

Manchester United 4-2 Blackpool: Champions Fight Back To Finish With A Flourish

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Four years ago, United were in a similar situation as they were in yesterday, with the Premier League title already secured heading into the final day of the season and a visiting opponent facing the drop.

On that occasion, West Ham came to Old Trafford needing at least a point to escape relegation, and thanks to Carlos Tevez's goal right before halftime, the Hammers received the result they needed and then some.

Manchester United vs. Blackpool: Title Secured For United, But Much Still At Stake On Season’s Final Day

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When Manchester United and Blackpool met at Bloomfield Road almost four months ago, it proved to be one of the matches of the season.

Thanks to goals by former United prospect Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell, United found themselves down 2-0 at halftime, and the deficit remained the same deep into the second half.

Would Signing Ashley Young Be A Good Move For Manchester United?

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To remain at the top, you can't afford to rest on your laurels, and despite winning a fourth Premier League title in five seasons and advancing to a third Champions League final in four seasons, the expectation is that this year's summer transfer window will be a relatively busy one for Manchester United, at least in comparison to the last couple of summers.

Are We Seeing The Last Of Paul Scholes?

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In less than two weeks' time, we'll bid adieu to the finest Manchester United keeper since Peter Schmeichel, as Edwin van der Sar will stroll off into the sunset after the (hopefully victorious) Champions League final against Barcelona.

Is the end also approaching for another United veteran?

Blackburn 1-1 Manchester United: Rooney Spot On As United Wrap Up Record 19th Title

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In a season in which we've done so very little the easy way and have scraped and scrapped to many results, I suppose it's only natural that's how we would achieve the required result today.

But for those who deal in black and white, there's only one thing that matters in the present and hopefully for a long time to come:

Manchester United are the kings of English football for the 19th time.

Blackburn vs. Manchester United: Will United Clinch Record Title Against Local Rivals?

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In less than 24 hours, we could be celebrating one of the biggest achievements, if not the biggest achievement, in Manchester United's storied history.

But to wrap up a 19th English top-flight title and set off those celebrations, United will have to earn a positive result at a venue that has been a trouble spot quite often in recent history.

Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea: Title Within Reach As Reds Leave Chelsea Feeling The Blues

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As Old Trafford shook on Sunday, so should have the heads of all of those who thought that it'd be the day when Manchester United's luck finally ran out.

Dominant is an adjective that hasn't and won't be used in describing this Manchester United team, but perhaps they were saving it for when it really mattered.

Do Preseason Predictions Create A Different Perspective On Manchester United’s Current Position?

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It seems like forever ago now, but only a little over two months ago, Manchester United held a 15-point lead over Chelsea in the Premier League table.

Mathematically, Arsenal were United's closest competition at the time, but even though they were fresh off of the most horrendous run of form in the Roman Abramovich era, many in these parts and elsewhere considered only Chelsea as a threat to United's title hopes.

Manchester United 4-1 Schalke: Reds Run Rampant To Book Barcelona Rematch

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See, all of that nervousness was for naught.

With two away goals in the bag and the massive Manchester United-Chelsea showdown looming on Sunday, it was no surprise that Fergie chose to field a less than full strength starting lineup for the second leg of United's Champions League semifinal with Schalke.

Manchester United vs. Schalke: United Look To Lock Up Champions League Final Berth

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Last Sunday's visit to Arsenal didn't turn out as hoped, but as ill-timed and disappointing of a defeat the 1-0 reverse at the Emirates was, it's not remotely the end of the world for Manchester United, especially with two doses of home cooking in what amounts to the most important week of the season to date.

Arsenal vs. Manchester United: United Aiming For Key Arsenal Away Win

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Arsenal

Starting Lineup: Wojciech Szczesny; Gael Clichy, Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djourou, Bacary Sagna; Samir Nasri, Jack Wilshere, Alex Song, Theo Walcott; Robin Van Persie, Aaron Ramsey

Subs: Jens Lehmann, Kieran Gibbs, Sebastien Squillaci, Emmanuel Eboue, Andrei Arshavin, Nicklas Bendtner, Marouane Chamakh

Manchester United

Starting Lineup: Edwin Van der Sar; Fabio da Silva, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra; Nani, Anderson, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung; Wayne Rooney, Javier Hernandez

Subs: Tomasz Kuszczak, John O'Shea, Rafael da Silva, Chris Smalling, Antonio Valencia, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen

Prediction: Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United

"Arsenal vs.