Writer: Ross Molyneux
Date:Wednesday February 21 2007
St James Park
Last week`s main event over in Belgium was a bit of a damp squib to be honest. Without being overly patronising, Waregem would have struggled to give North Shields a game. On a pitch cut to ribbons, with spaces evident all over the stands, it wasn`t exactly a showpiece event for the UEFA`s junior tournament. In fairness the same will probably repeat itself on Thursday night.
Despite rumours that the Intertoto Cup will be presented pre-match ticket sales have been sluggish for this one. Whether it`s the fact that we`ve got a comfortable lead, the game is on terrestrial TV or people just don`t fancy it against pub team opposition, it looks as if St James will only be half-full by 7:45pm. The gaffer has promised to turn out his strongest available side, with only Gooch cup-tied and Parker a doubt with a hamstring injury. On a personal level Parker shouldn`t even be an option. Rest the lad until Wigan this weekend to let it fully heal and keep with Dyer and Butt in the middle of the park. Elsewhere I`d keep Milner in for Nobby and rest the Peruvian wizard for the weekend.
From a long-term perspective I`d like to see the likes of Carroll and Lua-Lua given longer than the statutory two minute subs appearances Glenn has been giving them. After a week of tub-thumping about how great our academy is, why not give us a chance to see the results for real? If Kazenga really is the next Gazza (God help his liver if he is…) then surely second tier opposition like these would be a good starting point for a run out.
"We will be playing the strongest side available to us. Oguchi Onyewu is not eligible, and this leaves us to look at the situation regarding Scott Parker and his hamstring problem. It is touch-and-go whether he makes it tomorrow night, but if he does not then it will be 100% certain he will play against Wigan Athletic on Sunday.
Zulte scoring an early goal is not in my assessment of how things will go tomorrow night. What is in my assessment is that we keep a clean sheet and build on our lead from the first leg. We have to defend set-pieces properly and be the first to the ball. This is what we have been working on in training this week.'
Parker doubtful, Gooch Onyewu cup-tied, Milner one booking away from suspension.
Surely a chance for our top scorer to fill his boots against this lot? Big Al's 20 goals a season benchmark seems really attainable if he keeps up his current form.
2-0 losers at the weekend - nothing much else has come over the North Sea ahead of their visit. Written off as no-hopers by just about every media outlet. Birmingham 5-1 anyone? (Not likely)
Possessing a girl's name, he scored against us in the first leg. Little else really to say about him/them generally.
Previous European home games v Belgian teams:
1969/70 Anderlecht won 3-1 (Fairs Cup)
1994/95 Antwerp won 5-2 (UEFA Cup)
2001/02 Lokeren won 1-0 (Intertoto Cup)
N Ibanov (Russia)
The Belgians lost 2-0 at the weekend to Cercle Brugge in the Jupiler League. I`m going to go one better and tip a 3-0 home win.
Premier League: Wigan (Away) Sunday 1pm KO.
Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!
Date:Wednesday February 21 2007
Shearer Wants Zero Tolerance For Fixers (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Shola's Off To Brazil Via Hull? (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Villa Home Game Moved For TV (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Happy Anniversary Alan (Monday December 9 2013)
Praise For Ben Arfa (Monday December 9 2013)
Man Utd Victory The Catalyst For Greater Things? (Monday December 9 2013)
The Magpies Draw The Bluebirds (Sunday December 8 2013)
What has changed since 1972? (Sunday December 8 2013)
Stats: Man Utd v Newcastle United (Sunday December 8 2013)
Man Utd v NUFC Confirmed Line Ups (Saturday December 7 2013)
|3.||Kim Jong Un||118|
|4. Man City||15||9||2||4||26||29|
|9. Man Utd||15||6||4||5||3||22|
|The Ped Report FC Bayern 2-3 City
» Man City : 11/12/2013 19:30:00
|FA Cup Third Round Tie Set
» Aston Villa : 11/12/2013 19:16:00
|Allam makes FA application to change club name
» Hull City : 11/12/2013 18:59:00
» Hull City : 11/12/2013 18:44:00
|Liverpool: Gerrard Back Sooner Than Expected?
» Liverpool : 11/12/2013 18:38:00
|Carroll - No Saviour
» West Ham : 11/12/2013 16:49:00
» Man Utd : 11/12/2013 16:40:00