Blackpool v United: Preview
Veteran Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes is doubtful for the Barclays Premier League match against Blackpool because of a groin injury. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson could be tempted to name the team that hammered Blackburn 7-1 after making 10 changes in midweek when they lost to West Ham in the Carling Cup. Ryan Giggs and Darren Fletcher will both come into contention after recovering from their recent injuries. Ahead of the game boss Sir Alex Ferguson spoke of the importance of the December fixtures. Of course, how you do at Christmas depends on who you've got to play, and more importantly who you have to play in away games, he said. Over the years we always seemed to have had games in the north east, but this year it's a bit more local, which is good. We're at home on Boxing Day against Sunderland and just after New Year against Stoke, and only have to travel to the Midlands for games with Birmingham and West Brom on 28 December and New Year's Day. So that's not too bad. It's a hectic period but we have the players to cope. Hopefully we're in the right position come the start of January. Blackpool could name an unchanged squad for the game. Ghana international Richard Kingson will continue to deputise in goal for the injured Matt Gilks, a bang to the knee in last week's draw at Bolton not being serious. Midfielder Chris Basham is facing a lengthy lay-off having broken his leg in the reserves last week while striker Marlon Harewood (torn hamstring) is still out. Billy Clarke, Alex Baptiste and Louis Almond are long-term absentees. Blackpool (from): Kingson, Eardley, Cathcart, Crainey, Evatt, Adam, Vaughan, Varney, Taylor-Fletcher, Campbell, Grandin, Phillips, Edwards, Carney, Euell, Sylvestre, Keinan, Southern, Ormerod, Halstead. Manchester United (from): Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Rafael, O'Shea, Brown, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evans, Smalling, Evra, Fabio, Fletcher Nani, Park, Carrick, Scholes, Anderson, Obertan, Giggs, Rooney, Berbatov, Hernandez, Macheda, Bebe. Blackpool league form: DLDWD United league form: WDDWW Key opponent: Luke Varney - winger has been a big Premier League hit and he is a goal threat Prediction: Blackpool 1 United 2 - It's likely to be a feisty occasion but Reds should have enough quality to leave with three points Agree with the prediction? Have your say. Click here for all the latest odds from Betfred.
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