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Football | Wednesday, February 28, 2024 1:59 PM

Silvestre preview Manchester derby exclusively with bettingexpert

Silvestre preview Manchester derby exclusively with bettingexpert
IMAGO / Sportimage - Andrà Onana of Manchester United, ManU body ;language reflects his mood as another chance goes begging during the Premier League match at Old Trafford.

Here at bettingexpert, Devang Prasad sat down with former Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre. The pair discussed Manchester United’s recent form at Old Trafford, leadership issues at the club and also gave us an exclusive preview of the upcoming Manchester derby this weekend.

In this article:

Teams no longer fear Old Trafford

Old Trafford is not the fortress it used to be. Both on and off the pitch. Whilst talk continues about renovating Old Trafford off the pitch, their issues on the pitch remain a bigger issue. The Wembley of the north is reportedly Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s objective but after the 2-1 loss to Fulham at the weekend, United have bigger issues. Silvestre claims teams now have the belief they can go to Old Trafford and get a result, which wasn’t always the case.

“The team is not as dominant now, so it´s not a question of Old Trafford. For years, away teams have been able to get points there, but it’s because they are not as dominant anymore.”

“They came from a winning streak, but against Fulham the manager couldn’t put his best eleven in the lineup, which gave the opportunity for an upset.”

“They could have conceded more goals, but they could have scored more goals as well. Teams believe now that they can come to Old Trafford and get something, which they haven’t done in the past.”

Was the Fulham loss just a blip?

After the loss to Fulham, Erik ten Hag said that “the bigger picture” looks good. Such statements are tough for fans to digest after a last minute 2-1 loss to Fulham, in which United dropped 8 points behind fourth placed Aston Villa. Silvestre feels as though United’s consistent injury issues are to blame for this loss to Fulham.

“I believe there will be improvement in terms of the engagement from the players, the desire to fight and play together.”

“It was an upset against Fulham but before that they were on a winning streak, so I still think they are in a positive period right now, and we have to remember that Man United had the chances to win.”

“They had a centre back playing at left back, a 19-year old on the right wing, Højlund out and so on. So, of course, when it’s like that, the other teams will have a bigger chance.”

There are no leadership issues at United says Silvestre

Is there a lack of on-field leadership at Man Utd? Is Bruno Fernandes not good enough to rally and direct his players? Bruno Fernandes has been labelled as “pathetic” after a clip has surfaced of the United captain appearing to feign injury during the 2-1 defeat by Fulham. Yet, Silvestre feels as though there are no leadership issues at the club and that everyone in the United team needs to step up to the plate.

“I don’t feel they are lacking leadership. A team needs 11 leaders, we can’t blame individuals for not taking responsibility or showing the way.”

“Everyone needs to show character, especially when Erik ten Hag doesn’t have the best eleven to choose from.”

United are putting Onana under too much pressure

A major theme for Man Utd this season has been allowing less-fancied teams a lot of shots on goal. Silvestre believes the fact that United are not a possession based team is the reason behind United conceding a large amount of shots on goal.

“Man United is not a possession team, so they will concede shots. Also, at Old Trafford they want to score goals, so of course there will be shots against them.”

“It’s okay to have shots against but of course you don’t want too many. But at the moment they have players out of positions and a lot of young players. It takes time.”

“But of course, it’s not ideal to put Onana under so much pressure.”

Can United do the impossible at The Etihad?

With United next facing title contenders Manchester City, we caught up with Silvestre who believes United will need to show true togetherness if they want to come away with a positive result at The Etihad. Whilst the Frenchman says the City game will be a tough fixture for ten Hag’s men, he highlights City have lost games this season and can be gotten at.

“Clearly the odds are in favour of Manchester City. I’m not even talking about the defeat to Fulham but with the amount of injuries, it’s a tough ask to go and do it (at the Etihad).”

“City have lost games this season. They’re not going to lose many more and United won’t have many chances in the game. They’ll have to take every chance that they get.”

“It will be a difficult game, with a lot of defending and running after the ball. And it’s clearly in favour of the City.”

Silvestre highlights United will need the likes of Marcus Rashford, Fernandes and Garnacho as key players in the United attack who will need to be clinical when presented with the few opportunities they may get in the game.

“More than ever, this is going to be a collective effort to grab the three points. You expect your Rashfords, your Brunos to create chances. In the decisive moments, Garnacho or Harry Maguire on a set-piece, can step up.”

“So, it’s not like the team is lacking weapons. It’s a fair fight as it’s 11v11 but right now, City are clearly more dominant than United.”


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