Manchester United vs. Aldershot: United Looking to Bounce Back

Zaakir HoosenAnalyst IOctober 25, 2011

After a shocking weekend for the men in red from Manchester, it should be business as usual when they visit the EBB Stadium (Recreation Ground).

It's important that Fergie's men recover quickly from one of their worst ever defeats to their biggest rivals.

However, for many of the players who played on Sunday, it will be a match they watch on television—as Sir Alex will look towards youth and many of the players who are short on game time.

The test at Aldershot will not be easy. Playing at a small ground, with a capacity below 10 000, is not something they will be used to.

It does, however, give an opportunity to rebuild the confidence of the fans and players—although a victory against a League Two outfit is no major achievement following the disaster at the weekend.

Looking at squad selection and the starting eleven, there are many fringe players who will be given an opportunity.


Possible Starting XI

GK: Ben Amos

RB: Fabio da Silva

CD: Phil Jones

CD: Nemanja Vidic

LB: Ezekiel Fryers

RM: Antonio Valencia

CM: Tom Cleverly

CM: Michael Carrick

LM: Danny Welbeck

ST: Dimitar Berbatov

ST: Michael Owen

The return of Nemanja Vidic and Tom Cleverly to the first team (in the Premier League) is vital for United in their effort to bounce back.

Vidic will bring strength and calmness at the back, something the team is lacking, while Tom's distribution and control will be another plus—if he is given an opportunity.


Amongst the other names mentioned is that of Michael Owen, who scored twice at Leeds. He will look for another chance to prove he still has the quality to finish, albeit against a lower league team.

Dimitar Berbatov will be as hungry as a wolf to get game time, having lead the scorers chart last season he's been out of favor this time round. The Bulgarian will hope to give a strong, positive performance, and look to score at every given opportunity.

There is a feeling that Ezekiel Fryers will be given another shot, having caught the eye of many on his debut first team appearance against Leeds. For me, his long cross field balls from the left, which opened up the Leeds defense, could be used as a tactical approach when going forward.

Valencia, Fabio and Amos could also be involved as they lack match fitness.

One player much talked about is Paul Pogba, his inclusion in the first team is questionable, but if he is included it could be in place of Michael Carrick.

Danny Welbeck has been used several times on the wing, and he has the pace and strength to get back and defend when necessary.

Ferguson will most probably select a first team very close to this, giving players from the weekend time to rest, while giving many others an opportunity to gain match fitness or increase their confidence.

A big maybe could be the inclusion of either Ashley Young or even Wayne Rooney, but that would only be to work on their confidence which has taken a huge knock.

A strong squad with a balance of youth, experience and hunger will be important to a side with a point to prove—no matter who the opposition is.


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