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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.

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!

Man United vs Leicester City 2-0

It was Mourihno’s replacements that made 2 goals (Rashford and Fellaini) and 1 assist (Lingard) which shows that our strength in this long season will be the squad’s depth.

Paul Pogba is Europa League’s Best Player

The 24 year old French midfielder won the Europa League Player of the Season award after being chosen by a panel judges consist of every club managers involved in the group stage and 55 journalists.

On his way to FIFA’s Ballon d’Or? Yes please!

Champions League Draw 2017-2018

United will be in Group A along with Benfica, Basel, CSKA Moscow.

I don’t think we will find too much trouble getting a way from this group except a visit to Moscow for away game against CSKA Moscow.

Glad to be back to Champions League eh!

Romelu Lukaku Will Help But Manchester United Still Need More

Romelu Lukaku” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by theglobalpanorama

If anyone can help Manchester United get back to the top of English football, it is Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku. The 24-year-old left fellow Premier League side Everton for United earlier this month and he has adjusted quickly to life at Old Trafford.

Lukaku got his name on the scoresheet in United’s 2-1 victory against Real Salt Lake on just his second appearance for the Red Devils and he will be looking to enjoy a successful pre-season ahead of what could be a memorable campaign for Jose Mourinho’s men.

According to statistics collected from the official Premier League website, Lukaku has scored 85 goals in 182 top flight appearances – an impressive return. If the big Belgian can do that at Everton, who knows how good he could be at United.

With the right service and a quick start to life at the Theatre of Dreams, Lukaku might go on to win the Golden Boot award – an accolade won by Harry Kane in each of the last two years. The sky really is the limit for Lukaku at United and Red Devils fans are right to be excited.

With Lukaku signed up for the next five years and Marcus Rashford still developing, United have plenty of potential in attacking areas but Mourinho’s men need more if they are going to win the Premier League title.
Reports are suggesting that Zlatan Ibrahimović could return to the club for one more year if United are willing to take a punt on the Sweden icon. Zlatan quickly became a fan favourite at Old Trafford last season but a serious injury cut his time at the club short – although he could sign a new deal in the near future.

If there is one thing that Ibrahimović guarantees, it is goals. You could claim that Lukaku and Zlatan are too similar but Mourinho will be licking his lips at the prospect of using both big men in the starting line-up.
Just imagine Ibrahimović and Lukaku leading the line for United next season; the Red Devils might be predictable in terms of style but goals would be an absolute certainty. Most supporters are expecting Lukaku to notch at least 20 goals next season and Ibrahimović’s impact should take some of the pressure off his shoulders.

But even with Zlatan, doubts remain over United’s ability to compete on multiple fronts. The Red Devils will need to juggle their Champions League commitments whilst laying down the gauntlet to their domestic rivals in England’s top flight.

Ivan Perisic’s impending arrival from Inter Milan will offer Mourinho a viable option on the wings. Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Juan Mata are capable of doing a job out wide but none are conventional wingers and Perisic should get the best out of Lukaku and Ibrahimovic.

The Red Devils must sign at least two or three more players to give themselves the greatest possible chance of winning silverware this campaign. Heading into the 2017/18 season, the Premier League title has to be Mourinho’s number one priority.

A good European run is an added bonus but winning the domestic crown for the first time since 2013 is the aim. United haven’t won the title since Sir Alex Ferguson retired and Mourinho will be desperate to bring the good times back to Old Trafford.

“We see the Stretford End arising” is a famous quote from one of United’s chants and the Old Trafford faithful will be expecting big things from Mourinho’s men this season.

However, with so many new players to slot in, it could take some time for the Red Devils to gel. At the time of writing, United are a 3/1 shot according to bookmakers on Oddschecker but it may prove prudent to check out any promotions, such as Coral’s free bet offer, before betting on United this campaign.

Defensively, United are fairly solid and Victor Lindelof’s arrival will offer some reassurance to supporters who were worried ahead of the new season. In Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, and now Lindelof, Mourinho has four competent central defenders at his disposal and the Red Devils will be hard to break down if all four play well.

Last term, United had the joint-best defensive record in England’s top flight and it would take a brave man to back against the Red Devils repeating that feat once again. David de Gea looks set to stay at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future and that can only be positive for United’s title chances.

So, who could United sign to bolster the squad further? The Red Devils have been linked with a move for Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan but he will come at a price. According to various sources, Roma will accept a fee of no lower than £60 million – a figure that might be a little high for United’s liking.

The Belgium star is talented, there’s no doubting that, but Ed Woodward won’t want to pay over the odds for yet another player. United have struggled to command respect in the transfer market in recent years and it might be time for the Red Devils to start holding out for a fairer deal.

Sad Day: Wayne Rooney is Joining Everton

Wayne Rooney ended his 13 years brilliant career in Manchester United shirt with a move back to his childhood club Everton. I would wish him all the best of luck for the remaining of his career.

Absolute legend. Thank you Wayne Rooney!

Welcome to Manchester United Romelu Lukaku!

The club announced they’ve agreed fee with Everton FC for the transfer of Romelu Lukaku. Not my all time favorite player but he’s tested in the premier league for years already, scoring a lot of goals, and he’s only 24.

Welcome to Manchester United!

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