Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Manchester United V QPR
Sunday 14th September. 4PM. Sky Sports 1
Those connected to Manchester United will say otherwise but English football’s biggest brand are facing a real crisis and it is absolutely vital that Louis van Gaal turns things around quickly, starting with Sunday’s showdown with Queens Park Rangers.
The visitors are also caught up in some truly problematic moments as the threat of a potential banishment to the Conference hangs over their heads like a dagger. There are huge issues for both clubs away from the pitch but both will be solely focused on getting a positive result at Old Trafford.
We could be in for a blinder.
Van Gaal Set To Hand Debuts To Falcao And Blind
Life after Ferguson was always going to be difficult but, after David Moyes led the side to mid-table obscurity in 2013/14, a return to Champions League football is essential if Manchester United want to remain top dog. Failure to win any of their first three games under Van Gaal is a genuine cause for concern.
The fear factor has gone around Old Trafford as Swansea proved on the opening day and the Red Devils face a long road to recovery. It is mind-blowing to think we are returning from the first international break without seeing a Manchester United victory and that must change soon if they are going to salvage anything from what is already turning into another turbulent campaign.
Fortunately, Van Gaal does have fresh recruitments for the visit of QPR as he prepares to give deadline day duo Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao their Manchester United debuts. The latter is arguably not the signing that the Old Trafford club needed and could result in skipper Wayne Rooney being deployed in a slightly withdrawn role. Nevertheless, the Colombian’s arrival is an exciting prospect. With Robin van Persie completing a lethal trio, it’s good to see that the Dutch manager hasn’t abandoned United’s attacking philosophy.
However, there does seem to be an unbalanced look to the United squad and the hosts will be praying that Phil Jones’ injury isn’t too bad. Fortunately, Blind can offer cover whilst both Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo could also be set for Old Trafford debuts. Perahps most exciting, though, is the thought of seeing record signing Angel di Maria in action for the first time at home.
The anticipation is bubbling and it should be a phenomenal atmosphere at the Theatre Of Dreams.
Rio Returns To Old Trafford
Manchester United’s current predicament is a far cry from the glory days of Sir Alex Ferguson. One of the key members in the club’s most decorated period was Rio Ferdinand, and the former England defender will return to Old Trafford for the first time since making the summer switch to Loftus Road.
Ferdinand’s best days are well behind him but his experience could be key to QPR’s bid for survival. Harry Redknapp’s side look far better equipped this time around and the likes of Sandro and Caulker should ensure that they have a much stronger spine. However, in light of Loic Remy’s departure, it is hard to see where the Hoops will source goals so they will have been thrilled to see Charlie Austin get off the mark in last week’s win over Sunderland.
QPR were obliterated by Tottenham in their only other away match and they’ll need to be much better at Old Trafford. There is a great opportunity to secure a memorable result against the vulnerable hosts but the west Londoners cannot afford to drop off against the Manchester giants.
Whatever happens, it should be a thrilling encounter.
Manchester United V QPR Betting
They might still be seeking a first win of the season but Manchester United enter Sunday’s showdown as the odds-on favourites at 1/4 with Bet365. Meanwhile, the R’s can be backed at 10s whilst the draw is available at 5/1.
It has been a testing start to Van Gaal’s tenure at Old Trafford but his side is still blessed with some phenomenal talent and the likes of Rooney, Van Persie, and Falcao are bound to send shivers down the spines of the Hoops defenders.
QPR have already been humiliated once on the road and if United start strong then we could be in for another one-sided affair. The incentive for the Red Devils is huge and the international break may be the interlude needed to get their campaign up and running.
Manchester United -2 Asian handicap is 27/20 with Bet365
A lot of the headlines will surround the debut of Falcao but we think it is Di Maria who will have the much bigger say on Sunday.
The former Real Madrid player scored one and assisted three in Argentina’s 4-2 win over World Cup winners Germany last week and if he can perform to that same standard then he should inspire the Red Devils to a first win of the campaign.
Angel Di Maria to be named Man of the Match is 5/1 with Paddy Power