Nemanja Matic: Manchester United’s Difference Maker

Source: Manchester United via Facebook

Nemanja Matic was an absolute bargain at £40 million and Jose Mourinho knows it. At the time, a few Manchester United fans were left scratching their heads; was this simply Jose’s way of settling for a ‘tried and tested’ top flight footballer? As it turns out, Matic was the final piece in Mourinho’s jigsaw. The Serbia international makes the Red Devils tick and he could be the biggest difference maker of all in United’s bid for the Premier League title.

According to ratings at WhoScored, Matic has been the fifth best player on show at Old Trafford so far this season – an impressive feat given it is his debut campaign at the club. His average rating of 7.45 is more than respectable and he has settled quickly to life in Manchester. At 29 years old, he is well within his prime and the former Chelsea man has shown no signs of slowing down just yet. He is expected to see out his three-year contract with the Red Devils.

With next summer’s World Cup fast approaching, Serbia will be hoping that Matic is able to maintain his current form for the remainder of the campaign. Having managed to fend off the likes of Wales and the Republic of Ireland, Slavoljub Muslin’s men have already booked their spot in the competition and the United star will be influential next summer. A full year of regular football at Old Trafford under his belt will see Matic develop even further.
With many of the major footballing powerhouses performing below their potential in recent months, many football fans are looking towards the outsiders and having cruised through a World Cup qualifying group including Ireland and Wales, Serbia are available at 100/1 in international football betting markets to lift the trophy next summer. The likes of Dusan Tadic and Aleksandar Mitrovic, both of whom play for Premier League clubs, will be in contention to make the squad too and their familiarity with Matic’s style of play could prove vital throughout next summer’s tournament.

But for now, his main focus will be on United and masterminding Mourinho’s men to a first top flight success since Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement back in 2013. On paper, he doesn’t stand out as one of United’s main men, but it would be foolish to ignore just how influential he has been. Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan may receive plaudits for their flair and creativity, but Matic’s dogged role is just as important.

United are currently second in the Premier League table, two points behind runaway leaders and arch rivals Manchester City. Back in his Chelsea days, Matic delivered a memorable performance in a 1-0 away victory at the Etihad Stadium; arguably one of Mourinho’s greatest ever performances. Red Devils fans will be expecting big things from the Serbia man in both derby fixtures this campaign, especially if Pogba and Marouane Fellaini are back from injury.

Mourinho prefers physical, energetic midfielders and Matic fits the bill perfectly. Viewed as a risky purchase by some, he has already proven his doubters wrong and the Serbia star is operating as one of United’s most influential figures. Winning the title won’t be easy but if Matic performs at his brilliant best, he can spearhead Mourinho’s midfield for the most part of the season.

There’s a Road Named after Jose Mourinho

In his hometown Setuba, Portugal, there’s Jose Mourinho Avenue, a street named after him for his achievements in football.

Well deserved, boss!

Champions League Odds

With the Champion’s League starting to really get into full swing, now would be the perfect time to have a look at the odds and maybe think about putting some money down. To give you the best chance, we’ve put together this infographic that talks through how the odds are looking and which sides have the best chance of winning the whole thing.

You won’t be surprised to hear that Real Madrid are at the front of the pack, but with the crazy amount of records they hold for their performance in the competition that’s hardly a surprise. They won the last two leagues in a row and they’re the only team to have won their champion’s league group with a perfect record in 2011/12 and 2014/15. But besides Real Madrid, we have a fair few other teams all looking strong for sneaking into that top spot.

PSG signed Neymar over the summer and he’s put in a good performance so far and Atletico Madrid. For a more complete breakdown, have a look at the infographic with all the Football betting odds on Paddy Power you’d need to make an informed bet.

Manchester United 4 – CSKA Moscow 1 – All Goals

Very good performance all around and another 4 goals scored. Well done lads.

Rooney’s Career in 1 Picture

It was a sad day when he left. But who can blame him for wanting to go back to his boyhood club Everton.

Wayne Rooney will always be a Manchester United legend. It’s amazing how one can achieve so much in his life. Thank you Betfair for providing this infographic, you can check out list of football betting on their site.

Manchester United 4 Bulton Albion 1 – All Goals

Manchester United recorded another 4-0 win to reach Carabao Cup fourth round.

I am glad to see the team take the lesser prestige cup, which we won last season, seriously. Like Mourinho keep saying in the media, it’s the importance of squad depth, so we can compete in all competitions.

Rashford 1-0:

Rashford 2-0:

Lingard 3:0:

Martial, the young genius French, 4-0:

Impressive De Gea

A Liverpool fan on Twitter:

“Most annoying thing about Spain or United is that once you actually beat their defence, De Gea is stood in net and will save everything.”

Quoted at a fine piece on De Gea over at ESPN blog.

Manchester United – Everton: All 4 Goals

First goal: mental strike by Antonio Valencia:

Second, by our “king of assist” Henrikh Mkhitaryan:

Third, Romelu Lukaku. He’s just a natural goalscorer!

Fourth, nicely executed penalty by Anthony Martial:

Our 3rd 4-0 Wins in 2017/2018 Season

The 4-0 Goal galore was opened by a superb strike from Antonio Valencia. It was his first of the last few months and it was mental! I would bet that very few, or even none, goalkeepers who can stop that kind of attack. After the goal, we play dull, predictable and unimpressive football. It’s obvious that we missed the creativity of Paul Pogba, who are sidelined for bad injury. However, for casual observers, it’s obvious that Jose Mourinho tend to replace the right players at the right time. And so far this season, it managed to change the output of the game.

It was a similar scenario against Everton last weekend. Jose replaces Marcus Rashford with Jesse Lingard, apparently to ensure that left back Ashley Young is well protected, as Jesse is relatively more resilient than Marcus in defending. The second crucial change was Ander Herrera who replaces Juan Mata. The game fairly did not develop to Reds’ liking until the Spanish midfielder entered the field and changes things. Last was the introduction of “super sub” Anthony Martial.

After the formation changed, the goals came almost automatically. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial each scored successfully created a total of 3 goals in 10 minutes. It was a well earned 3 points at Old Trafford against one of our traditional opponents. Also worth to note that Serbian Nemanja Matic was an outstanding performer.

If I bet on, I would not underestimate Manchester City who now has the same points with us and of course defending champions Chelsea. But I am sure we have a good chance to return to become English Premiere League champions. Like the old saying; where we belong.

Come on you Reds!

Another Champions League Night to Remember

After a frustrating night at Stoke, Manchester United showed an almost finished work in progress under Jose Mourinho by beating Champions League opponent Basel FC 3-0 at Old Trafford. It was a perfect night for David DeGea to get his 100 clean sheet mark as a red goal keeper, despite the absent of 2 main central defenders, Baily and Jones, both for suspension.

Down side of the night was when the most expensive Mourinho’s signing Paul Pogba was substituted after only 18 minutes. It is reported that his training regime contributes to the injury. However, substitute Fellaini opened the scoring after a pass from man of the match performer Ashley Young. Lukaku scored the second goal and the first night of Champions League return to Theater of Dreams closed by a goal from debutant Marcus Rashford.

The busy September period is getting more interesting. As Matic said in an interview, the Premier League is our main target. How is our odd in the competition where we have won 20 times? You can view all English Premier betting at William Hill. Even though Mourinho has never failed to win the domestic title in his second season at any of the teams he has managed – Porto, Chelsea (twice), Inter Milan and Real Madrid, I won’t underestimate Manchester City and Chelsea for the title.

Now first thing first, bring on Everton this weekend!

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