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Man Utd: 2010 Team Preview | Odds

English Premier League – Manchester Utd. 2010 Preview

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Odds to win the 2010-11 Premiership outright: 5/2

After being clipped by Chelsea in the final days of the season, Sir Alex Ferguson and his Premier League runners-up Manchester United has already began planning the start of the clubs bid to regain the title in 2010.

Wayne Rooney — who led the red Devils with 26 goals — and company, were unable to gain the two points they needed to unseat Chelsea at the end of the season to claim a fourth consecutive Premier League title, but did finish the year with the league’s best defense–only conceding 28 times the entire year – winning the Carling Cup, and reaching the quarterfinals in the Champions League.

But what about Rooney? Speculations are that United will be without their star striker to start off the 2010 Premier League season as he is still short of match fitness. If Rooney does in fact miss the first several matches into the new-year, that will just mean more goal scoring opportunities for silky forward Dimitar Berbatov and some of Ferguson’s prized youngsters like Federico Macheda, Darron Gibson and Guadalajara striker Javier Hernandez.

Others like defenders Chris Smalling, Rafael and his twin brother, Fabio, could find themselves taking the pitch during Monday’s opening EPL match against Newcastle United as Ferguson’s side battles a sizeable injury list that includes starters Owen Hargreaves, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Scholes, Michael Carrick, Edwin van der Sar, John O’Shea, Wes Brown, Gary Neville and Michael Owen. Bet on Soccer at Sportsbook.com

But can these substitutes help United get off to a great start or will the Red Devils find themselves in the middle of the table by months end?

As United learned shortly after the departure of international star Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez from Old Trafford, the side has the depth of talent to continue to challenge for top honors in the League, putting up 86 goals and winning 27 league matches in 2009.

With no household name new signings joining the club during the transfer season, Ferguson remains convinced his youthful squad, aided by stellar performers like Rooney, Vidic and Scholes, can deliver the Red Devils a record 19th English championship.

Manchester United 2010 Prediction: Fergusons’s biggest challenge will be keeping his players fit throughout the season.

If he can do so, it should ensure, once again, that they are challenging for the top spot come May. However, without Rooney and company to start off the year, the club could fall behind early on, making it a difficult task to recover.

But United has already proved to us that anything is possible, so I am predicting another top three finish in 2010.

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Matt Martz is a sportswriter for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. “ Football (soccer) is a game in which a handful of fit men run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of people who could really use the exercise.”

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