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Forget Chelsea, Schalke is not beaten yet

It’s a well known fact that a two goal lead can be a dangerous one in football even though Manchester United obtained just that away from home and German Kicker magazine knows it. It notes that “Although Schalke were so hopelessly inferior in the first leg, they are at least verbally demonstrating optimism” when quoting the comment made by coach Ralf Rangnick who said “All we need is another performance like the first leg against Inter.” Kicker then asks “Is there a better time to imagine the impossible ahead of a match at the Theatre of Dreams?”

Sir Alex Ferguson is also conscious that nothing can be taken for granted in a Champions League semi final admitting that “It is always dangerous in football to assume you have cracked it, that you have found a silver bullet or discovered some secret formula for success.”

“We live in exciting times at Old Trafford” he continued “and while I want both players and supporters to enjoy every minute of it, we must take nothing for granted. It is very easy to get complacent in modern life. There are many examples of it. But Manchester United don’t regard it as a formality on Wednesday and it certainly will not be.”

Schalke may be boosted by the return of defender Benedikt Howedes who is on the plane to Manchester with the squad despite an ongoing stomach problem. A fitness test at Old Trafford will determine his availability. Surprisingly, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has also made the trip and there are hopes that he will be fit enough for a substitute appearance. The Dutch striker has joined Howedes for extra training sessions in recent days and could return after two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.

Victory over Schalke would not only bring United a place in the Champions League Final for the third time in four years, it would also give the them a timely boost after the league defeat at Arsenal. “It has always been the case at this club that if we lose a game then we have to recover quickly” Sir Alex explained.

“We always have work to do in the next match. That is the great beauty of football at least. You always have the next game in which to do something and we’ve only had to wait three days. That is an important issue for us because it is a part of being a good team, how you can recover”

Ferguson will have emphasised the importance of putting all thoughts of Sundays virtual title showdown with Chelsea on the back burner until at least a place in the Wembley Final is beyond doubt. Anything less can leave an ever slight opening for Schalke to cause the mother of all devastating upsets.

Is a prediction of another 2-0 defeat of Schalke too optimistic?

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No Responses to “Forget Chelsea, Schalke is not beaten yet”

  1. RedScot says:

    Evening Reds,I would like to think the 2.0 prediction is accurate.Not that I bet and my ‘crystal balls’ are in cold storage.I do believe 04Schalke cant play so badly as they did in their home tie, nothing to lose scenario, like Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.So they can go out and play with freedom and attack, with the knowledge if they lose another goal, they are virtually out of the competition anyhow……like Arsenal as I suggested.
    My fear is if they come out all howitzers blazing and do happen to score, the whole impetus of the tie alters immediately.
    I think however, the Old Trafford crowd know the importance of the occasion obviously and will be the lads 12th man, on these very very special European night at the ‘theatre’.
    As the article details this team are no push overs , regardless of their Bundesliga postion and weekend performance!****Cough****, all the semi finalists were beaten though.
    Am going for a 1.1,with Sir Alex resting some key players for the Chelsea game on Sunday……Time for the squad to truly show they are United players and can grasp the moment.
    Ps of topic, Great to see Pep Guardiola, withdrawing Carles Puyol in the 89th minute for a Nou Camp ovation and the introduction of Eric Abidal who recently in February was diagnosed with cancer, to be found to be all clear.Class!Are you watching Mourhino………about the players………not you!
    I hear Manuel Neuer, did not make the trip……..Ohhhh I wish.
    Cmon you Reds. 😀

  2. Fred Burton says:

    The job is not done yet. United need to be on their game and guard against complacency. Stay professional and it should be a cracking final.

  3. murty says:

    I’d go for a 1 – 1 draw too – but if they score first there could be some nervous moments – especially if it’s towards the end of the game.
    A few people I spoke to said Shalke might try to hold out as long as possible at 0-0 and then push hard in the last 10-15 minutes so as not to leave Utd. time to react if they do score. I expect a controlled performance from Utd and I think if we score first the tie fizzle out.

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