Millennium Post

Man U rely on Persie magic

Man U rely on Persie magic
Sir Alex Ferguson was relieved to welcome a fit Robin van Persie back to Manchester ahead of Saturday’s clash against Wigan at Old Trafford.

The Dutch forward, who has started the season in impressive goal-scoring form for United, came off at half-time of Holland’s 4-1 victory over Turkey with a thigh injury.

But it appears that his removal from that World Cup qualifier was merely a precaution and, with England centre-forward Wayne Rooney still sidelined after cutting his leg badly in the recent win over Fulham, van Persie’s fitness is all the more important for United.

Former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel has certainly been impressed by the start the Dutchman has made to his United career, with four goals in his first three appearances.

‘The very important thing is Robin van Persie absolutely chose us,’ said Schmeichel. ‘He wanted to come to us, it wasn’t a question of us paying more than Manchester City or any other club. He wanted to be with Manchester United and that, I think, is the most important thing. ‘He has been perfect for what we needed to do. We have brought the right player in.’That concluding day of last season, when United lost the league title on goal difference to bitter rivals Manchester City, remains a painful memory for Ferguson and his team.

Thanks to van Persie, the Reds have scored six goals in their last two league games  wins over Fulham and Southampton - but their goal difference only remains at plus one.

United’s Brazilian midfielder Anderson, however, believes that van Persie and fellow pre-season signing Shinji Kagawa, the Japan midfielder, will make a significant difference.

‘I think the team looks good,’ said Anderson. ‘At the beginning of the season it’s always difficult but we’ve got a couple of wins and now we want more. ‘Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie have a lot of quality. They make it easier for the rest of the team when they have so much talent. It also means everybody works harder to try and keep their own place.’

Martinez believes the best way Wigan can end their miserable run of form at Old Trafford is to forget who they are up against.

‘Our performance against United at the DW Stadium last season was everything we wanted,’ Martinez said.

Meanwhile champions Manchester City will travel to north London to face the Potters. City are looking for their first win in six games in the Britannia Stadium. Stoke could play Michael Owen alongside Peter Crouch.

Liverpool face a stern test against Sunderland in the stadium of Lights, Arsenal look to continue their clean sheet run as they face Southampton at home. Chelsea face QPR which will be an intruiging battle to  promise a good weekend.
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