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Thursday, July 30, 2009

In Depth Pre-Season Analysis: Manchester United

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Manchester United

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Click here to view for squad statistics.

Fantasy Premium Pick: Vidic (8.0, click here for player statistics), Rooney (11.0)
Fantasy Top Pick: O'Shea (5.5)
Fantasy Good Pick: Van der Sar (6.5), Carrick (7.5), Valencia (8.5), Owen (8.5), Berbatov (10.0)
Fantasy Gamble Pick: Nani (9.0)

Note: The parentheses ( ) after a player name states his price.

Here comes the champion! Having secured the Premier League title three in a row, Manchester United will definitely continue their strong domination in the English football arena again - but this time without their previous ace Christiano Ronaldo. With the league starting two weeks from now, we shall see how much is the effect of the departure of CR7 to the Red Devils in their title challenge.

Goalkeepers and Defenders
They might not be that horrific anymore in their offense this season, but their defense will be as rock solid as before - although may be a little bit weakened due to reducing dominance upfront. United's defensive ace, Nemanja Vidic, is a spectacular character. Strong markings and hard tackles, combined with his powerful attacking corner skills has made him an unmissable player for this coming season. Having the most clean sheets compared to any other player in the premier league, even at the price of 8.0 he's still a very valuable lad. And he even scored 4 goals for Man Utd as well! His only weakness? How about his clumsiness against Liverpool which he was sent off twice?

Nemanja Vidic

As for the other defenders, all long as they start regularly they will give you a lot of points too. Example are such as Ferdinand and Evra. However, compared to Vidic they are much inferior aren't they? The only exception is John O'Shea. In fact I was very surprised of his extremely low price as one of the United's regular starter last season. Tagged 5.5 million, he's a very good investment as well.

While for their keepers, Van der Sar had a very convincing performance last season. The 1311 minutes of clean sheet haul was indeed a six star performance, but with his low attendance for premier league games (2911 mins), the price is just too expensive, especially for his age.

With Ronaldo left for Real Madrid, Manchester United's midfield line is heavily weakened. Still, there are some good pick for you. Michael Carrick is quite worthy at his price of 7.5 mil. 4 goals, 8 assists and 21 bonus points are indeed quite an outstanding record for a average priced midfielder. Valencia is also a good player as well, but I don't really recommend him as Manchester United is totally different from Wigan whereby he's the chief director of the Latics offense... but viewing his first goal in his debut match for Manchester United, he does have the shadow of Ronaldo! Whereas Nani might have the chance to prove himself this season with the ageing of Ryan Giggs, one of the greatest legend of Old Trafford.

The team will definitely rotate around Wayne Rooney by now. Having his ability deeply suppressed due to Ronaldo's presence, the England's best striker currently will finally be given the power to rule United's offense. His role will be far more threatening than ever as he'll now play at the center of the field, rather than to sacrifice his best position for his teammates. At 11.0 he might be a little bit expensive, but if he can perform at his best, Rooney can even be the contender for the top pointer this season.

Wayne Rooney

The doubt at the United's forward line: who will partner Rooney? While Berbatov is more expensive and proven in United's offense, my vote goes to Owen. Seriously before his pre-season friendlies what that is still fresh in my mind about Owen was only his deluxe resume, but after that, my negative thoughts on him was proven to be wrong. As the top scorer so far in all the games United had played for this new season, his sharp as ever goal-hunting sense might boost him a lot of fantasy points as well. On the other hand, Dmitar Berbatov's 10.0 price just doesn't tally with his performance last season, while Macheda has to wait for a chance to prove himself.

08/09 Game Season Statistics
Top Pointers: Vidic (187)
Most Goals: Rooney (12)
Most Assists: Berbatov (10)
Most Bonus: Rooney (23)
Most Clean Sheets (Defensive Line): Vidic (23)
Points per Value: Van der Sar (23.8)
Points per Game: Vidic (5.5)

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