Central Park

United fan and local journo Nathan Thomas thinks Ji-sung Park could play in the middle against Chelsea. He would pick this team if he was in the manager's shoes:

Van der Sar; Rafael, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Fletcher, Giggs;
Park; Berbatov.

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02/04/2010 13:23, Report by Nathan Thomas

My team to beat Chelsea

Like every United fan, I was extremely disappointed after Tuesday's game against Bayern Munich.

The Germans looked like they were there for the beating and especially after a fantastic start with Wayne Rooney’s second-minute strike I could see nothing more than a United victory. But we know all too well 1-0 is a dangerous scoreline. 26 May 1999... ring any bells?

It is important that we put the tie to bed for now. The biggest game of the league season now looms and even without Wayne Rooney, I am confident that we can secure another famous victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford.

United always play well under pressure and Sir Alex has made a career out of proving people wrong. Rooney is our talisman, yes, but we are not a one-man team and we have quality throughout the squad. How many other teams could call on a £30m striker as back-up?

Now we know Wayne's out, I'd imagine the manager would stick with the 4-5-1 formation with Berbatov as a lone striker. The goalkeeper and defence pretty much pick themselves with Van Der Sar, Ferdinand, Vidic and Evra all included. However I would imagine Rafael would replace Neville at right-back following the skipper's recent exertions at home and abroad. In midfield, I'd have Giggs and Valencia on the flanks with Fletch and Carrick anchoring. Finally I would put Park in the centre behind Berba. His energy could help us exploit the space created by Berba’s movement.

The Reds will need to play a lot better than they did against Bayern, and no doubt they were down after that defeat. A crunch match with Chelsea is maybe just what they need to get the blood pumping again.


Premier League