A lot of us weren’t very happy when this one was postponed a few weeks ago, but it’s difficult to see what Blackpool could have done about it. It’s unfair to expect a team who were complete promotion outsiders and only came up via the play-offs to install undersoil heating between May and August. Besides, it paled in comparison to the farcical postponement at Chelsea.
This is the one we have been waiting for – the game in hand. Win this and we are five points clear of Arsenal who have, despite being lightweight and unable to win when it gets tough, found their way into second.
We can’t expect this game to be as straightforward as Saturday’s game, or the game against Blackburn, but it should still be a comfortable win.
Blackpool have the novelty of this being their “big day” on their first season up, and almost everyone raises their game when they welcome United for the first time in a while. For a club in our position, we just have to deal with it.
Plus, every man and his dog is currently purring about Charlie Adam, a player who you’d think from listening to Ian Holloway was halfway between Lionel Messi and Jesus.
He also comes with the Alan Hansen seal of approval, meaning he presumably would have got into the 1995 team of kids. However, you imagine that if he was as good as he apparently is, he would have more than 6 caps for Scotland at the age of 25.
Better judges than I do rate the lad though, and I imagine, given that he likes to drop deep, Anderson will be picked to do a job on him on the basis that if you stop Adam, Blackpool won’t beat you.
However, Blackpool have a variety of threats – their top scorer only has three more than their fifth top scorer, but that five have shared 26 goals. 13 different players have scored for them in all competitions, only two less than United if you discount Obertan, Anderson and Valencia, who have scored in competitions Blackpool don’t play in.
Holloway is a crazed lunatic, but he will have them up for this, no question. They know everyone expects them to lose, so the sort of tension we got in the Arsenal game won’t be there. Instead I imagine it will be end to end, them taking us on at our own game.
Ferdinand has been tweeting that he’s got a niggle, so he probably won’t be risked given that there are bigger games to come. Given the same logic I expect Giggs to drop out for Fletcher. The superb Rafael should return and, depending where Charlie Adam is deployed, could find himself reprising his role as the Premierships number one bubble burster.
I have picked Lindegaard for shits and giggles but, if the lad is ready, there is no reason this shouldn’t be the game in which he makes his debut. More realistically, though, it will be Saturday.
Of course, given that we have Southampton on Saturday, and the importance of nailing down these three points, Ferguson could be planning to use that game to rest players. That said, there is no reason the team above shouldn’t win. It’s strong in it’s own right.
Five Cantonas Prediction
A comfortable 3-1. Nani usually takes the piss against sides like this, so he will probably grab two. Someone random to get the other. Fuck knows who will score for Blackpool. Probably Varney or some shit.