Premiership predictions – Manchester United ready to recover from last season’s blues

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ONE fact a lot of people seem to have forgotten about last season is that Manchester City were seconds – mere seconds – from coming second to Manchester United.
The gap between the two teams after months of swapping the top spot was miniscule, so this season will come down to who has progressed best in the close season.
Manchester City haven’t recruited so far, unless you count Carlos Tevez’s return – but goals weren’t the problem for the Citizens last season…
However United have added the creativity with Kagawa and fit-again Cleverly it lacked to unleash it attacking wealth of Rooney, Nani, Young, Valencia et al
Add to this defensive solidity from a returning Vidic, and possibly last year’s player of the season Robin van Persie, I think the Red Devils will be top of the pile come the end of play.
In addition, I can’t see past Chelsea and Arsenal for the remaining top four Champions League places – although Spurs will be pushing once again and Liverpool will run it closer than they did last season.

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World XI

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FIFA have named their World XI this week in a star-studded ceremony.
And as I’m sure you can guess it contains Lionel Messi – who also won the best player award, for the third year on the trot.
Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola was named best coach, while Brazilian team Santos’ star Neymar scored the Puskas Award for the best goal of the calendar year.
A special award was also made to Manchester United’s long-serving Sir Alex Ferguson.
The World XI in full is –
GK – Iker Casillas
DEF – Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Nemanja Vidic, Sergio Ramos
MID – Xavi, Xabi Alonso, Andres Iniesta
ATK – Lionel Messi, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo

Team Of The Season XI

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IT’S been a hell of a season, one of the most unpredictable 10 months of football I’ve ever known – here’s hoping the Champions League final throws one more surprise our way next weekend…
But regardless of the result at Wembley on Saturday, over the course of the season, both domestically and in Europe, some of the creamiest of the current Premier League teams’ crop has undoubtedly risen to the top.
Apart from the right backs – it’s such a black spot I’ve stuck David Luiz out of position there, becuase he deserves a mention and he’s got great hair.
So to give the best of the best their dues, here’s Goaltastic’s 4-4-2 formation Team Of The Season –
GK – Van Der Sar (Man Utd)
DEF – Luiz (Chelsea), Hangeland (Fulham), Vidic (Man Utd), Baines (Everton)
MID – Nani (Man Utd), Adam (Blackpool), Toure (Man City), Bale (Spurs)
ATK – Van Persie (Arsenal), Tevez (Man City)

PFA Player of the Year shortlist leaked

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THE shortlist for the PFA Player of the Year Award has today been leaked.
Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, West Ham’s Scott Parker, Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez, Blackpool’s Charlie Adam and Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic make up the shortlist, chosen by thier professional football peers.
The PFA Young Player of the Year shortlist sees Bale and Nasri alongside Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire, Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, Manchester United’s Nani and Everton’s Seamus Coleman.
Goaltastic is plumping for an Adam/Wilshire combination – any thoughts?

Festive XI

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THE mighty Twitter has been decking its halls with hash tag suggestions for Festive footballers to play in a #festiveXI this morning.
Some of them had me smirking – and I thought yule love some too.
So here’s a Festive XI line-up, with shout outs to those who suggested them in brackets –
GK – Sleigh Given (@unitedite)
DEF – Backary Santa (@tractorben), Ne-manger Vidic (@TheAnishMistry), 2 Skrtel Doves (@VivaRedman), Yule-io Arca (@ianthenoodle)
MID – Wayne Sproutledge (@davewthomson), Fairytale of Dwight Yorke (@LeeAMurray), Five Torsten Frings (@goaltastic), Kraka (@robvickers)
ATK – Jo Ho Ho (@HuwDRoberts), Didier Eggnogba (@goaltastic)

Berbatov’s pen friends

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TURNS out Dimitar Berbatov is an artist both on and off the pitch.
In an interview with the Mirror, the Bulgarian goal-getter revealed he has penned caricatures of his Manchester United teammates – although he has not yet dared do one of Sir Alex Ferguson.
He said: “Whatever I see I can draw!
“I’ve done a few caricatures of the lads – Wazza, Vida and Fletch – we had a good laugh about them.”
He added: “I think they liked them.”
You can draw your own conclusions on that.

World Cup XI

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I’VE selected 11 players missing out on the World Cup due to selection, and I’ve picked a team of players not at South Africa due to injury.
Now indulge me while I pick a team of the most exciting talents that will be playing over the next month, as if I’m not excited enough about the tournament –
GK – Cesar (Bra)
DEF – Lucio (Bra), Cannavaro (Ita), Vidic (Ser)
MID – Ronaldo (Por), Kaka (Bra), Xavi (Spa), Lampard (Eng), Robben (Ned)
ATK – Messi (Arg), Rooney (Eng), Torres (Spa)