So, two very different games to start the season with as we veered from heavyweight to punching bag in only a few days. That description is not totally fair as it ignores the first hour of Monday night where we gave as good as we got. If Lennon had found a white shirt with his cutback at 0-0 instead smacking it straight at Evans then perhaps we wouldn’t have ended up feeling quite so pessimistic about life as we did by the end, but he didn’t and what turned out to be our best opportunity of the night went begging.
Which of the players on view at Old Trafford will get the chance to get it out of their system against Hearts is anyone’s guess. Injuries will inevitably cast a shadow over Harry’s thinking as any wish he might have to rest Dawson and Kaboul for instance will be limited by the lack of alternatives. Huddlestone and Bassong maybe, but then you hit the problem of who to play in midfield given that Kranjcar and Livermore would probably appreciate a night off if they’re going to feature against Omani City at the weekend.
Townsend, Pav, Hudd, Corluka, Bassong, Rose and Gomes are likely to start but anything else is guesswork. It’d be nice to see Carroll or Kane at least get a run out given that there’s no NextGen game this week. Whatever the team a five goal lead should be enough to see us through of course.
It’s unlikely that Hearts will be anywhere near as limp as they were last week They will surely have the bagpipes blaring in the dressing room and boots flying from the start on the pitch. They’ll have been stung by the over the top criticism they received after last Thursday and will want to restore some pride, hopefully not at the expense of the shins of any of our players, we’ll need as many as we can get on Sunday.
There’ll be a good crowd as the game is included in the price of the home season ticket but few will be expecting a thriller. The sight of some youngsters would hold the interest but to be honest, it’s a game that’s difficult to get excited about. Still, a couple of early goals to the Jambos and who knows?
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