Man Utd want to bounce back at Newcastle

BY foxsports • April 18, 2011

With Manchester United and Arsenal each seeking to overcome huge disappointment, the Premier League title race continues midweek with three matches that could yet help determine the destination of the title.

Any slip up by Arsenal against its local rival could then leave defending champion Chelsea, which hosts Birmingham in Wednesday's other match, as United's closest challenger with five games remaining.

United is still a strong favorite to win the Premier League but cannot afford to relax just yet.

"It doesn't matter when you play, you know you've got to recover and get on a winning streak again," United manager Alex Ferguson said.

Newcastle could be the perfect opponent for United, which will be without the suspended Paul Scholes after his red card against City at Wembley. United is unbeaten in 17 matches against Newcastle since September 2001 and the Magpies will be without suspended captain Kevin Nolan, who has scored 12 goals this season.

"I hate watching, but I just try and give the lads as much support as I can," Nolan said. "It's going to be tough, but we fancy ourselves against anyone at St. James' and it's going to be rocking."

United has striker Wayne Rooney available again after a two-game suspension and the England international could replace Dimitar Berbatov, who missed two good chances against City. Defender Jonny Evans is also able to play following a ban.

"We must forget the City game now and concentrate on winning the title," United captain Nemanja Vidic said. "It will not be easy but we have to perform, play good football and try to win the league."

Arsenal's dramatic draw with Liverpool, in which it scored a penalty in the eighth minute of injury time before conceding another in the 12th, means it has dropped six points from its last three home matches.

Manager Arsene Wenger blamed the referee, Liverpool's defensive tactics and gamesmanship by Brazil midfielder Lucas Leiva for Arsenal's latest setback, but his team failed to create the clear openings its domination of possession merited.

"The hope is always there but, to keep the hope alive, it is up to us to win our games and to win our next game," Wenger said. "We are on a 15-game unbeaten run but recently we have not taken enough points."

Tottenham won 3-2 at Arsenal already this season and beat Arsenal 2-1 in last season's corresponding fixture to derail the Gunners' fading title hopes.

Tottenham beat Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City in a tricky final few games last season to make the tournament for the first time and may have to do the same to have any chance this time around.

"We know if we win every game left in the league, which is going to be difficult, then we'll be in the top four again," midfielder Tom Huddlestone said. "It's similar to last year. We've got to play Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City.

"By the looks of it, it might boil down to the City game again, so hopefully we can go there and do similar to what we did last season."

Chelsea has already bounced back from its most recent disappointment, recovering from Champions League elimination to United by beating West Bromwich Albion on Saturday and moving within two points of Arsenal.

"It was very important to win and play well," said striker Salomon Kalou, who scored one goal and set up another. "It was a hard week for us coming out of the Champions League but as a player you have to be professional and give everything."


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