It’s Special Edition time! As mentioned at the end of last season the TDA Bulls are going through a bit of a transitionary period with a few roster changes and a management switch as Doug “Spreadsheet” Hoernig has taken over the reins from Carolyn. A few players are sharing a spot, including myself, so you will get periodic game recaps when I am in attendance, which luckily for you all was last night. Let’s first welcome a few new faces as Glen, Jordan and Tara have joined the fold and I am sure they are eagerly awaiting being a part of a lego re-enactment, right? Well you know what to do, impress me with skill or get involved in a scandalous game moment and I will make you famous, just ask Doug, he is a regular in the club.
Manchester United’s busy schedule continues as they host Swansea on Sunday, and the personnel issues worsened after the draw with Man City as they lost both Marouane Fellaini and Timothy Fosu-Mensah to suspension and injury respectively. Some rotation will be necessary for José Mourinho’s squad as the hugely important Europa League 1st Leg Semi-Final with Celta Vigo is looming this Thursday. The central defense is particularly stretched thin, so much so that Mourinho joked than he and youngster Axel Tuanzebe could line up against the Swans. Jokes aside it will most likely be the overworked Eric Bailly and Daley Blind called upon again. Wayne Rooney seems a lock to start either up front or somewhere across the midfield after he was an unused sub for the City game. Here is a look at how I think Utd will line up for this matchup at Old Trafford.
No hype needed for this one, Manchester United…Manchester City, Red vs Blue, a Champion’s League spot potentially on the line, what more do you want? Well I guess for Utd you could say Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, but injury had ruled both out of this big matchup. But there was still plenty of talent on display, especially on offense, as both teams started with lots of skill and speed in attack. José Mourinho has had to deal with a lot of injuries recently and named a lineup with only two changes from my Predicted XI in my Preview, with those being Darmian being preferred over Shaw and Martial keeping his spot at the expense of Lingard. Here is a look at the starting lineup featuring a strong centre midfield and counter-attacking speed up front:
One Gameweek ended yesterday and now the next begins tomorrow, just enough time to sneak in my next Preview for Draft Fantasy:
After a team dropped from the O30 league this week, Crown got itself a bye that was unforeseen. Inquiries were made to myself about what everyone was going to read this week, addicts I know. So I caved to the pressure and instead of napping all morning I decided that the next Meet Crown: 5 Questions was doable. After surviving the hot seat myself unscathed I had decided that next would be a unique situation as other than RL obviously, this guy has to be regarded as one of Crown’s small but loyal fan base. Well actually he started out that way and then went on a mysterious hiatus as I think we may have been deemed as bad influences when it came to the after parties, but I will let him answer that himself. Without further ado, let’s get to know Jason Dickens a little better.
The Manchester Derby is always a big event no matter the what the standings look like but this time around it comes at a critical time as City sit in 4th and Utd in 5th, both fighting for a Champion’s League spot next season. City have to enter as favorites, being at home, and as Utd have been stretched thin by injuries, with Paul Pogba the latest, and fatigue due to a lot of games played in 2017. City may be without the influential David Silva as he is an injury doubt but this lineup is full of offensive weapons with Sergio Agüero, Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané, plus they will also welcome back Brazilian wonder kid Gabriel Jesus. Utd have a hot young prospect of their own in Marcus Rasford and he should lead the attack in the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Speaking of Zlatan, it was nice to hear in the news this week that he is not going to retire, he still has plenty to offer. After getting the lineup correct for the weekend game with Burnley, I will try again for this huge matchup.
Manchester United took on Burnley in the early kickoff on Sunday looking to narrow the gap on the top 4 before their huge clash with Manchester City on Thursday. With the recent loss of both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo to serious knee injuries, plus the fatigue of their Europa League exertions, José Mourinho did not have much choice but to freshen things up as best he could. There were a few eyebrows raised when the starting eleven was announced but not here as José and I were on the same page for the team selection as he named the exact lineup I predicted in my preview, great minds think alike, huh? Here’s a look at how the Red Devils lined up:
A tired Manchester United squad heads to Burnley on Sunday as injuries and fatigue will definitely impact the starting 11 for this matchup. The Europa Legaue victory came at a cost for Utd as they lost both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Marcos Rojo to season ending knee injuries. Add the 120 minutes many players endured on Thursday to the mix and José Mourinho may need to get creative with his lineup. There is also the Manchester Derby looming this upcoming Thursday, so yeah, busy times. Marcus Rashford and Wayne Rooney are the only true strikers remaining but the youngster looked exhausted at the end of the Europa game so he could be protected giving Rooney the chance to make a rare start. David De Gea, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young are the only certain starters this weekend. Here is how I think Utd will line up for what is another crucial 3 points…but aren’t they all at this point in their stretched season?
Old Trafford was the site of the 2nd leg of the Europa League quarter-final as Manchester United hosted Anderlecht. The 1st leg in Belgium ended up all square at 1-1 so Utd went in with the advantage of having scored an away goal. Jose Mourinho predictably started a strong lineup as the Europa League is deemed to be his side’s best shot at getting a much coveted Champion’s League spot. Romero continued to get the start in net in this competition and he had the first choice backline in front of him with Bailly and Rojo having to continue to hold down the centre defense with Smalling and Jones still remaining out. The offense was led by Ibrahimovic and he had plenty of pace backing him up. The bench was full of experienced options if needed including Rooney. Here is how the Red Devils lined up:
Crown’s new season got underway on Wednesday night but before we get to the recap there is a little housekeeping to do. In a roster note, Pistol made his return to net, welcome back, so Rodney moved to a field player with Patrick making way and becoming a sub. The league also has undergone a bit of a facelift as two solid regulars, the Honey Badgers and Black Ops, moved shop to a different facility. Let’s face it, this should only help Crown who endured a tough Spring season. Ok, with that done, here is the recap of their opening game against a familiar foe in The Little Kickers: