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In a big nine days of Man United matches Moyes must drop RVP

| 10.03.2014

We all remember the forlorn figure of Ruud van Nistelrooy warming up behind the goal at the Millennium Stadium having been benched for the League Cup final against Wigan.

Then there was the decision to leave Wayne Rooney out of the Champions League clash with Real Madrid last season.

These kind of moves made Sir Alex Ferguson the manager he was and with a massive stretch of four games in nine days on Manchester United’s horizon, it’s time Moyes took a leaf out of his predecessor’s best-selling book.

In their 3-0 win over West Brom, a victory that leaves the Red Devils at 10/1 to finish in the top four, Robin van Persie was so unsuspecting of his impending substitution just after the hour mark that the referee had to point him to the touchline.

Two minutes later Rooney, who was able to play further forward in a number 10 role with the introduction of Danny Welbeck, scored United’s second goal. It immediately showcased how much more effective the Old Trafford side are without the Dutchman, whose deeper starting position hinders United’s attacking verve.

The England international then turned provider for Welbeck to seal victory and it became clear that without Van Persie on the pitch United were able to better impose themselves on a weak opposition.

With Liverpool, Olympiacos and Manchester City all to play over the course of the next nine days, sticking with the formula that finished the game at the Hawthorns could be the career defining move of Moyes’ United tenure.

United are 7/5 to beat Liverpool on Sunday and 1/2 to topple Olympiacos in the Champions League following that fierce clash.

With West Ham providing some light relief from the big-match action before City are in town, an RVP-less United can really build some much needed momentum as the season reaches the home straight.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.