EPL Manchester United Preview 2012/2013
Season 2011-12 saw Manchester United lose the Premier League to Manchester City on the last day, showing the faults in their defence and midfield. Injuries to key players Nemanja Vidic, Darren Fletcher and Tom Cleverly proved to be a real blow to United.
These injuries meant that the retired Paul Scholes came out of retirement mid-season for the FA Cup match against City which they won 3-2. Scholes went on to score more goals and assists than Stewart Downing.
Summer signings Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell will bolster the midfield. Kagawa played well in the pre-season games, scoring his first goal for United against Shanghai Shenua. Powell won’t play for the first team as he is yet to prove himself as a European prospect. Rather, he will probably play in the FA Cup and the Carling Cup.
Rumours of Robin van Persie, Lucas Moura and Leighton Baines will prove to be vital for domestic and European success. Van Persie could prove to be an ideal strike partner to either Danny Welbeck or Javier Hernandez, with Rooney playing a trequartista role. Lucas would add flair to the midfield, proving to be a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes. Leighton Baines would replace or give a challenge for the left-back position against the ageing Patrice Evra.
Overall the signings will prove to be a success under Sir Alex Ferguson and United will challenge for most of the cups. The Glazer family will expect SAF to make the Semis of the UEFA Champions League and win the Premier League.
Shinji Kagawa – Borussia Dortmund
Nick Powell – Crewe Alexandra
Park Ji-Sung – QPR
Fabio – QPR (loan)
Tomasz Kuszczak – Brighton and Hove-Albion
Paul Pogba – Juventus
Premier League 2011/2012 standing – Second on goal difference
FA Cup-Quarter Finals
Carling Cup-Semi Finals