What am I doing up at this time of the day on derby day? Is it because I am excited, nervous, even apprehensive? Nope, none of those. Yes, derby day has arrived but the only reason I am up early is because I had a sober Saturday evening and went to bed before Match of the Day. A younger version of me would be shaking their head in disgust, but that’s the reality of it as I approach my 40th birthday.
I was actually due to play Sunday morning football at 11am today but because of the terrible whether in Manchester it was called off around tea-time last night. Should I have therefore gone out on the beers and made the most of it? Maybe, but I knew full well I’d be out on the ales early doors today anyway, just as I had planned to be once my own game had finished.
I’m off to the game at Old Trafford but not before some lunchtime beers in and around Chorlton first. If I’d have been playing football I might not have got to the pub til 1pm, now I can aim for about 12pm. Grab some food, meet up with a few lads and then head towards the Quadrant pub for a couple more before getting to the Stadium in plenty of time. Security has been quite strict this season, even more so in recent weeks. Today I imagine could take quite a while if you get there late.
Thoughts on the game? Pogba is a big blow for us but I have never been one to worry about suspensions and injuries, that’s just part of football and throughout the season all teams have players missing. You just have to get on with it, but can he be replaced? No is the answer but then Mourinho and the team have to come up with a new game plan. Matic and Herrera will now be key, but unfortunately that makes us more defensive rather than more attacking if Pogba was playing.
I think Lingard may get another start after his good performances recently and I’m not just talking about his goals, his work rate around the pitch with his none stop running has been absolutely excellent recently. Which means Rashford or Martial could be on the bench, I think he’ll leave young Marcus Rashford out but of course he will be involved later on for sure.
I don’t fear City, I certainly don’t get nervous, like any other season when we have played them I go into it with the same attitude. If we turn up, we should win, espiecially at home. If we don’t we’ll get beat. If we don’t turn up today it may be more than just a defeat. I’ve been going to derby games home and away for nearly 25 years now. I’ve seen many wins, a few draws, but also a handful of hidings. I cannot see that today but I’m confident we can win, I want to say 1-0 to us but I think City will score. Let’s go with 2-1 to United then. If you’re red, blue or a neutral, enjoy!