Tom McLarty has been kind enough to give us his thoughts ahead of tomorrow’s game.
The win over AC Milan in the week must have been a real boost going into tomorrow’s game. Who impressed you in the second leg?
Certainly not the Italians! Other than the obvious (Rooney), I thought Park and Fletcher had excellent games, but then they always play well in the big ones. I thought Ferdinand was showing signs of getting back to his best and was pleasantly surprised with Neville as I think he’s a bit past it. The calls of him being an emergency right back at the world cup are ridiculous.
United are still very much competing in the league – how do view the title race at this stage?
I think we had to cope with several injuries around November, especially at the back, so I think we’re through the worst of that. Chelsea seem to be getting injuries to key players (Essien, Cole, Cech) so hopefully that will lead to them dropping some points. Arsenal may well be the dark horses as they have an easier run in, but I’d still back United to win it again.
Fulham rarely get anything at Old Trafford (that magnificent afternoon in 2003 aside) so are you confident about Sunday’s fixture?
Well after last time I might think twice about predicting a United win! However, last time we had a makeshift defence. This time, we’re at home, and Fulham are coming straight out of a tough game in Turin on Thursday, so I would be disappointed with anything less than a win.
Anybody you particularly like in the Fulham side?
Well I should like Smalling seeing as he’s joining us in the summer but I have seen next to nothing of him! I think what makes Fulham such a good side is that you are not a team of individuals, so there’s no one I can really pick out. I think Hodgson is doing an incredible job, and who knows, you might be enjoying a trip to Wembley soon!
How’s Fulham old boy Edwin van der Sar doing between the sticks?
Edwin has been solid as a rock since he joined us. It says a lot for him that he is 39 and we still cant find anyone better than him! Another year deal means we should still have a great last line of defence for another 12 months.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about off-field matters. Do you take much interest in the green and gold protests, the Glazer ownership issues and the Red Knights speculation?
Absolutely! Despite the fact that on the pitch we have had a lot of success since the Glazer takeover, the level of debt the club is in is quite frightening. Of course, no one would ever let Manchester United FC go out of business because of the brand’s potential. But still, if there’s the possibility of a group of fans taking over the club and clearing the debt, that I am all for it. I think the way the campaign has gone about has been very well managed. Using the Newton Heath colours shows that we want the club to go back to the way it used to be. That said, despite Becks wearing the scarf on Wednesday, I cant see the Glazers selling up any time soon.
Finally, could we have a prediction for tomorrow please?
On the basis that the match is more important for us than for you, that you are playing on the back of an arduous trip to Italy and we’re at home, I fancy United to win 2-0 (Rooney and Valencia).