United face a tough trip to the Donbass Arena on Wednesday in what is likely to be our toughest match of the group. United play last years champions of Ukraine, Shakhtar Donetsk, who won their league at a canter last season by a mammoth 13 points.
This season however they aren’t having things all their own way and currently sit in 3rd position, 6 points off the leaders Metalist Kharkiv. We all know the feeling of an underwhelming start to the season, eh lads?
Following United’s worst ever start to the Premier League campaign, as a result of a humiliating 2-1 defeat at home to West Brom, United fans under the age of 25 (including myself) are in uncharted territory. We all need to keep calm and get behind the team and more importantly the manager. The media are baying for blood with Moyes and are biting into him at every opportunity. Its been a roller coaster few weeks, a great result knocking out Liverpool in the cup and a good performance against Leverkusen in the Champions League. Proceeded by a spanking at the Etihad and “not a Manchester United performance” against WBA, to quote a legendary Sir Alex.
Shakhtar go into the game in the better form, winning 3 and picking up 1 draw and 1 loss in their last 5 games. Their top goal scorer so far this season is the Brazillian Luiz Adriano with 5 goals in 9 games. They also have ex-Arsenal play Eduardo Da Silva at their disposal and a wealth of other Brazillian talent in their squad including Alex Teixeira and Douglas Costa. They are one of the top scoring teams in their league with 24 goals, 2 short of Metalist. However they seem to letting in too many at the back with 11 conceded in as many games.
United on the other hand haven’t been scoring freely this season at all. Not even netting from open play since the opening day of the season against Swansea. This makes you wonder what position we would have been in now had Rooney gone to Chelsea!? 8 goals scored and 8 goals conceeded so far in the league. However, Uniteds start to the Champions League campaign was a positive one, beating Leverkusen 4-2 at home with a convincing performance. This game is going to be much tougher, against a team who have won all but one game at home all season and only conceeded 2 goals in the process.
The way United have been playing of late a point would be a good result here. Of course we want to win, hopefully the return of a fit RVP, a rested Carrick and an in form Rooney will give us the edge in a competetive game. I also think Evans and Vidic should be partnered at centre back. Rio deserves to be dropped with his recent performance at the weekend and i have to echo the calls of many United fans. “Out with the old in with the new!”. Zaha and Januzaj were at it again last night, bagging a goal each with a 4-0 over Bolton. Lets get these lads blooded into the first team and kick on for the rest of the season.
Score Prediction: Shakhtar 1 – 2 United