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Dimitar Berbatov : Forward Enters Defining Period

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 28:  Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United in action during the Carling Cup Final between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on February 28, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Muazzin MehrbanCorrespondent IApril 1, 2010

The absence of Wayne Rooney for arguably Manchester United's biggest two games of the season so far, has left a void at the spearhead of their attacking exploits. As both the starter and finisher of many a move, with predominant contributions from Antonio Valencia and Ryan Giggs, None can argue that his role at the theatre of dreams has been that of a lead actor.

However, interestingly enough, United have a 100 percent record this season without Wazza, across nine games in which they have scored 17 and conceded just two. Though, just three of those matches have come in the league, against Bolton twice and Wolves.

The man to replace him for at least the next two games is already a foregone conclusion. Purchased at a higher price and bought to do precisely what Rooney has converted himself to do this term - lead the line - the next seven days will be defining ones for Dimitar Berbatov.

His ability to go missing in a game is almost as stark as his Bergkamp like touch and slickness reminiscent of Andy Garcia. If United gain positive results in their next two games, at the very least a draw against Chelsea and progression on Wednesday, then Berbatov will have to have made a telling contribution. Should he comply (often it is his application that is most questioned), it may go a little way to bolstering claims that he is Cantona's second coming.

More importantly though, wins in both games will be the launch pad to United going on to at least claiming one major crown this season. Whether they end up smiting Liverpool or avenging Barcelona, or even both, is uncertain. What is certain is that Dimitar must outline now more than ever, his credentials on the big stage, albeit when he will be forced to take the spotlight.

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