Anders Lindegaard may make his debut tonight against Southampton in the fourth round of the F.A Cup. Massimo Taibi who is infamously remembered for that gaffe against Southampton way back in 1999 as United looked for a replacement for Peter Schmeichel. Now with Van Der Sar announcing his retirement Anders Lindegaard and Tomasz Kuszczak only have a few months to impress the boss and stake their claim to be United’s next number 1.
After United failed to find Peter’s Schmeichel replacement for several years until we signed Edwin, Fergie will be desperate to make this transition a much less painful experience. Personally I don’t think Tomasz Kuszczak is the man to replace Edwin. He is a superb number two a fantastic man to have in reserve. You don’t however, get the same sense of security you get with Tom as you did with Edwin. A top class keeper is a must if you want to win the league, and especially the Champions League. No coincidence that United won the Champions League in 1999 and 2008 when they had two fantastic keepers at the helm.
So Anders Lindergaard has a mighty task ahead of him if he wants to replace Edwin at the helm. With players like De Gea, Neuer and Adler repeatedly rumored to be joining the club in the summer then its up to Anders to keep those players away from the club.
Anyway back to tonights game against Southampton and it will be interesting who he plays and especially who he plays up front with the recent (well nearly a year) collapse of form for Wayne Rooney who has only one goal from open play this season and the recent form of Javier Hernandez who has 10 goals this season – all from open play.
I think it’s fair to say Michael Owen will start. Michael hasn’t started a game for United since we drew 0-0 against Sunderland and he hasn’t scored for the reds since his equalizing goal against Bolton back in September. In fairness to Owen he has only played 8 games this season due to injury. Who though will start next to him? Will Fergie drop Wayne and give Javier Hernandez a start to reward his great form. Or will he opt to give Rooney a run out to give him another chance to get a goal and get his confidence back.
Personally I think Javier should be given a chance to start a game again. Unlike Wayne, Chicharito has been banging in goals this season and has scored some crucial ones too!
I’m feeling slightly nervous about tonight’s game. United have been poor away from this season and Southampton will be buoyant tonight to try and knock out the league leaders. I haven’t had the privilege of seeing a whole successful F.A Cup run of a red devils win. I remember bits of the 2004 F.A Cup final against Milwall. Since then United have lost to Arsenal and Chelsea in the final so I like many of the United players will be desperate for a win in this trophy.
A league and cup double would be a great season and a great way to end Edwin’s career. A Champions League and League success would be even better but I don’t think were good enough with our midfield to beat Barcelona yet.
Despite my nerves I still believe and hope United will have too much quality for Southampton and this victory will ensure that we’ll right on track to be at Wembley to lift the trophy in May!
Prediction: Southampton 0-2 United.
Predicted Line – Up:
GK: Anders Lindegaard
Scorers: Owen and Fletcher