Although the main attraction this week is the clash between Manchester United and Liverpool, the Red Devils have another important match in midweek against Bolton Wanderers. The match will be played on Wednesday 20:00 GMT at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson is encouraging his players not to take the Bolton game for granted, as the team might once again, after the Derby game, be surprised by the power of the underdogs.
“If we perform well and take our chances then we’ll win the match against Bolton. But it’s important we respect our opponents. Some of our football recently has been terrific and there’s good penetration in the team. It’s encouraging that we’re making so many chances – perhaps the forwards just need to relax a little in front of goal. Then the goals will come.” â€“ Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex has been somewhat worried by the recent drop in the goal tally by Manchester United. The team is finding it more difficult to net goals, and this must be improved very quickly if the team is to survive big matches like Liverpool. Chances in such games are limited, but when they come, the team must be prepared to make the most out of them and convert them into goals.
Bolton are currently third from last in the league table, but although it may look like a walk in the park for high-flying Manchester United, the team must take a cautious approach, as low-ranked teams always give it all theyâ€™ve got when they play the Red Devils. At the Reebok, Man Utd had lost 1-0, the goal coming from former Bolton player (now signed for Chelsea) Nicholas Anelka.
Manchester United have the same number of points as second-placed Arsenal, but they have a game in hand, meaning that this Wednesday, they can move three points clear at the top of the table. This will remove some of the pressure from the weekendâ€™s clash against Liverpool. Should it happen that Man Utd beat Liverpool, while Arsenal lose to Chelsea, Man Utd will be sixth points clear of Arsenal, that are currently risking the drop to third place with their below-par performances.
Man Utd will once again resort to Ben Foster to guard their goal, as Van der Sar is still injured and Kuszczak fell to third in the goalkeeping pecking order. An instrumental player for United will once again be Cristiano Ronaldo, who has, until the 29th matchday, scored 22 goals. Man Utd will have to mark Kevin Davies and Kevin Nolan tightly, who are both very dangerous when in top form. Ferguson believes that Ferdinand and Vidic are more than capable of limiting Daviesâ€™ goalscoring chances.