Yorkshire. I’ll miss it. Some great days this season in ‘Gods own country’ including belting wins at Huddersfield and Leeds. Barnsley wasn’t half bad either. Next season it’ll be back to Merseyside and Greater Manchester for your ‘local’ away days, almost all of them being moved to Monday night, Saturday mornings etc.
To commemorate our last Yorkshire away day (unless Hull stop up) our opponents have (on the advice of South Yorkshire Police) cut our allocation this season, so we’ll have less fans than Leeds did at this one. Bizarre. £43 a ticket too, at the same time as Premier League fans are having their maximum £30 ticket prices cut to £20 for games in April. Your team and fans don’t matter by the way if you’re not one of the Top Twenty. The Football League and the FA couldn’t care less about football fans.
score to settle against these. Boxing Day was rough. Too much drink. Too many fouls and a defeat. Sheffield
Wednesday committed 23 fouls that day, many more unpunished. They’re a set of dirty bastards but you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Whilst we have referees wrongfully awarding two penalties and red cards against us in games, as well as awarding the opposition free kicks from our penalties, on Boxing Day Sheffield Wednesday had a referee unable to manage the game, giving every player two or three chances to commit clear yellow card offences. Any time any of our players found any space, beat a man or got close to goal there was a tug, a rugby tackle or a bad foul. Once the first couple of these challenges went unpunished Wednesday realised they had free reign to just get away with it. Six bookings from 23 fouls is a lot of fouls to go unpunished. Anyway United lost the game and Wednesday got their result of the season.
Wednesday went into their derby against Rotherham on Tuesday have won just one of their last seven games. A run which had seen them slip out of the play off position they’ve had most of the season. Now back into the play offs, each game is huge for them as they look to go one better than their play off final defeat last season (thanks to Mo). Leeds, Brighton, Ipswich, Brentford and Reading have all won at Hillsborough this season and twelve teams have been beaten, however Huddersfield are the only top seven side to be beaten there this season.
Nothing is certain and we still need 11 points to be mathmatically secure of promotion (although that would take Huddersfield winning all of their games). Most likely two wins from six will do it or a win and three draws. This is a bigger game for Wednesday who know that a slip could well see them lose a promotion place. The pressure is on them, a point may not be a good result. Fulham play Ipswich on Saturday so by the time we kick off Wednesday could be 7th. United are also absolutely mint away from home and are the better side, so the home side are up against it.
When we lost that game on Boxing Day Matt Ritchie was in his mid-season slump and Shelvey suspended. Since the Fulham defeat I think United have improved each game. I expect us to be back to our best on Saturday. Neither Hayden nor Colback were fit to face Burton so Rafa’s hand was probably forced in playing Diame in centre midfield. I’d love to see Hayden back for the last six games, as well as Diame played. It’s likely that if that does happen, Mo will move back into number ten to support Gayle and Atsu will drop to the bench for Goufrann. Atsu puts in a shift and is a talented player butt when your delivery is worse than Paul Dummet’s then you’re probably not a Premier League player. I would be delighted to have him prove me wrong.
it’s a tough game to call as Wednesday have some good players coming back to fitness including Fernando Forestieri. The game is officially a ‘sell out’ but the ground will be 4-5,000 seats under capacity. It’s a big game so there should be a good atmosphere. United are seeking an unprecedented 14th away win in a season. A point away to a top six team is a good return, but we normally win these games, so I’m going with a two nil for United. We’re nearly there.
ALEX HURST – Follow Alex on @tfalex1892
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