Preview: The Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium is not an easy place to play
If Manchester United came across this fixture last season, analysts would likely expect a victory for the Red Devils. But with the way things have been going for United after Sir Alex Ferguson, no match is a guarantee anymore.
David Moyes’ side continues to struggle with consistency, and a meeting with the Greek champions promises to be another difficult fixture.
Trailing Liverpool by 11 points in the Premier League, the chances of United claiming a Champions League spot for next season are slim. So they are left with hoping for a serious let down from the teams above them, or they will have to claim the UCL title.
Preview: Eagles hopeful of continuing good run
Palace have performed admirably under manager Tony Pulis having lost just once at home under the management of the Welsh international. The Eagles have also won three of their last four Premier League games with the only defeat coming at the hands of second placed Arsenal.
Their antics have allowed them to climb to the 15th spot in the table and Pulis’ men will be hoping to distance themselves from the relegation zone with another three points on Saturday.
Preview: Meeting at the Emirates is highly important for both clubs
Frustration and disbelief are perfect words to describe Arsenal and Manchester United's results at the weekend. Now they will both try to bounce back after dropping points.
Arsenal's heavy defeat at Anfield at the hands of an inspired Liverpool side raised a lot of concerns. Sloppy passing and not a lot of movement was Arsenal's downfall, which led to four goals in the opening 20 minutes. They will have a chance to sort things out Wednesday night in front of their fans.
For quite some time, football analysts and fans have been patiently waiting for the Gunners to crash and burn. It has happened far too often over the years, but this season Arsene Wenger's squad has managed to hold on tight.
Preview: Bad moments for both sides
Fulham’s hunt to stay in the top flight now has to go on without ex-Man United striker Dimitar Berbatov. In the last moments of the January transfer window, the Bulgarian star left for AS Monaco to replace injured striker Radamel Falcao.
The Cottagers are rooted at the bottom of the English Premier League table but by the end of Matchday 24, only six points separated them from eleventh-placed Stoke City. In order words, things are tight in the second half of the standings and Fulham could easily find themselves in the safe zone – provided they hit a few right nails during the coming weeks.
Preview: United poised to maintain unbeaten streak against Potters
Last time Stoke beat Manchester United was back in 1984, which implies that the Potters have never beaten the Red Devils in the Premier League era. The defending champions have won all of their last five matches against their counterparts and are unbeaten in their last 13 against their opponents on Saturday.
The hosts have not kept a clean sheet against United since 1983 and keeping their current form in mind, only a miracle will allow them to finish the match with a point.
Preview: Mata set for Man United debut
A transfer you never thought could happen. Two time Chelsea player of the year Juan Mata finally sealed his move to the English champions. The transfer rounded off with Mata’s emotional farewell letter cited to Chelsea fans in which the Spaniard thanked the Blues fans for all their love and support.
He will now be showered with increasing love from the United fans who foresee the former Valencia man as the player who could turn their season around.
The Theatre of Dreams was seen as a palace for the red half of Manchester and a dark and uncomfortable dungeon for it's visitors. Players would walk out of the tunnel with their crimson shirts with an air of confidence, a cocky strut but also they were the team to beat and no one would attempt to question it.
Iconic figures including the Charlton's, Best, Cantona, Beckham had created a history that no one would dare to touch never mind attempt to challenge. The success transcended through the generations to continue their dominance. Ferguson was untouchable, the man at the helm who was worshipped by all associated with the game. Now the tides have turned on his replacement and the Red Devils are running lower than Ferguson would never have imagined.
Preview: Revenge or doom for David Moyes?
The Red Devils enter Wednesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg clash at Old Trafford with a 2-1 disadvantage. What will happen at the Theatre of Dreams? Will the public be treated to a Manchester Derby at Wembley, as Manchester City wait to know the identity of their opponents in the final?
The Black Cats are on the brink of making history by defeating the odds to reach the ultimate stage. In 2014, the Premier League relegation zone club has picked up impressive results. They lost 1-0 to Aston Villa on New Year’s Day but bounced back by trouncing Fulham 4-1 ten days later. Recently, they took a point from their home game against Southampton.
Preview: The Special One vs the Chosen One
Arsenal and Manchester City’s unstoppable form means that Chelsea remain under pressure to grind results. The Blues had a shaky start in the Premier League but they could now bag their fifth consecutive win. Since their shocking 2-0 loss away to Newcastle United in November 2013, they have also won eight out of 11 EPL matches.
Eden Hazard has netted nine league goals. Having been widely tipped to achieve Cristiano Ronaldo’s status at the highest level, the young Belgian star is expected to make more noise in the media by stealing the show at Stamford Bridge.
Preview: United looking for first win of the year
The Red Devils have uncharacteristically lost all the matches they have played so far in 2014 and are currently on their worst run of form since 2001. A defeat at the hands of Tottenham in the Premier League was followed by losses at the hands of Swansea and Sunderland resulting in Moyes’ side being eliminated from both domestic cup competitions.
As if on-field problems are not grave enough Man United manager David Moyes has been charged for his criticism of the referee in the aftermath of the Sunderland match. The Scot criticised the referee for both the goals United conceded and as a result might face serious consequences.
Preview: Moyes looking for an instant response
In the midst of a disappointing season which has seen United drop to the seventh place in the league table, things got from bad to worse when the Red Devils got knocked out of the FA Cup by last season’s League Cup winners Swansea City.
The match was quite even until a rash challenge by full back Fabio Da Silva on Jose Canas earned the Brazilian his marching order and the Swans made full use of the man advantage they had with Bony securing the winner in the dying moments.
It was yet again another dull display, lacking everything that has defined Manchester United sides of yesteryears under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson. Swansea City had never won at Old Trafford ahead of last night’s FA Cup clash. However, it appears that many teams are now keen on setting the record straight whenever they have a trip to Old Trafford on the horizon.
The likes of Tottenham, West Brom and Newcastle United finally ended their disappointing trips at the Theatre of Dreams and it was definitely not out of Swansea’s sights to do the same. The place that was once a fortress, has now been assailed and each and every single deficiency David Moyes’ side possesses, is being thoroughly exploited.
Preview: Who wins the last three-point package on New Year’s Day?
The Red Devils and Spurs are neck and neck. Both teams have won ten, drawn four and lost five but the Manchester side have a better goalscoring record and slightly better defence than their upcoming opponents.
Last weekend, patience paid off as Spurs fans enjoyed the team’s first win at White Hart Lane since October. They displayed a solid performance, winning 3-0 against Stoke City. ESPN FC quoted Andre Villas-Boas' successor, Tim Sherwood, as saying:
“It's all about winning. We played with that freedom against West Brom, didn't get the result and the crowd went home unhappy.
Preview: Is United going to challenge for the title?
In a league as competitive as the Premier League, winning matches day in day out is extremely difficult to do. Thus, considering the fierce criticism the United team has faced this season, it is easy to forget that they are only eight points behind the leaders Arsenal. Arsenal has only picked up five points from their previous four matches.
David Moyes’ side literally battled to a win against Hull City in their previous Premier League match. They could have had at least one more player sent off on the day. 2-0 down very quickly, they battled back to 2-2 and had former player James Chester to thank for the win. The Hull City midfielder unfortunately scored an own goal past the hour mark.
Preview: Man United poised to score a fifth consecutive victory
The Red Devils after a slow start to the season have finally managed to get things in order and assured performances have seen them winning all of their last four matches including three in the Premier League.
An early kick off means that United have a chance to climb up to the sixth spot in the league table if they are to score a victory over their counterparts with both Tottenham and Newcastle scheduled to play their matches later in the day.
Entertainment is described in Merriam-Webster as “amusement or diversion provided especially by performers”.
According to this definition, entertainment can be measured by not just one but by several criteria as amusement or diversion can come in several forms.
However, a smaller, perhaps financially constrained, side contesting a historic name of the game does not provide the viewer with the same entertainment as two giants logging heads with each other. This is because, unless both sides are of similar caliber, the superior side tends to dominate or in other words, bully the smaller side.
Preview: Moyes looking to improve home record
The Red Devils have fared poorly at home turf this season and their Scot manager will be hoping for a better showing when United host the Hammers at the theatre of dreams. Moyes’ side has managed just three victories in eight league matches played at Old Trafford something which has contributed to their low position in the league table.
United lost successive matches against Everton and Newcastle in their last two league home encounters and another defeat on Saturday will be the first time since 1979 the Red Devils lose three home games on the trot.
Preview: Man United hopeful of avoiding third consecutive defeat in the league
David Moyes will be hopeful of avoiding a third consecutive loss for United in the league, if he fails in doing so it will only be the first time since 2001 the Red Devils drop all three points in three successive matches.
And Moyes will surely have his work cut out with last season’s top scorer Robin Van Persie ruled out for a month with a thigh strain. The 30 year old scored a hat-trick last time the two sides met and he will be sorely missed when the two sides meet at Villa Park.
Preview: Man United looking to bounce back from weekend loss
United come into this much after back to back defeats at the hands of Everton and Newcastle United and will be looking for a strong win in a competition they have fared well in so far. Whereas the Red Devils have failed to record a victory in their last four matches in the Premier League, their performances in the European arena have been much more satisfactory.
Last time out United dismantled Bayer Leverkusen 5-0 and will be hoping to make a repeat of that performance in a bid to finish top of the group which will allow them to be paired with a weaker opponent in the Round of 16.
Preview: Magpies to add to David Moyes’ misery
The Red Devils are currently on a downward spiral as far as performances are concerned with their loss against Everton at Old Trafford last time out spreading the difference between themselves and league leaders Arsenal to 12 points.
Man United have failed to register a win in any of their last three matches and their winless streak might last a little longer with the defending champions set to be without star strikers Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney for Saturday’s early kick off.