- Red Devils looking for their first win under Louis van Gaal.
- Rio Ferdinand makes his Old Trafford return.
- Radamel Falcao set to debut.
Sure to get a warm reception from the Old Trafford faithful, long-time Red Devil Rio Ferdinand makes his return to Manchester on Sunday, with a United team hoping for its first win of the season hosting Queens Park Rangers. Coverage begins tomorrow on NBCSN at 8:00 a.m. ET, with the match also available to stream via NBC Sports’ Live Extra.
Ferdinand moved to QPR this summer after his contract expired in Manchester. Having joined the Red Devils in 2002 for a then-English record £34 million, Ferdinand went on to spent 12 years at Old Trafford, making 455 appearances and winning six league titles with the club.
Now the former West Ham and Leeds defender is manning central defense for Harry Redknapp, who has brought QPR back to the top flight after a brief return to the Football Championship. With one goal in three games, however, the Hoops are off to a slow start, though that single score allowed Redknapp’s team to defeat Sunderland two weeks ago.
That win leaves QPR above United in the table, with Louis van Gaal yet to record his first Premier League victory. Held to two goals in three games, Manchester United’s talented attack has yet to meet expectations, but with Colombian attacker Radamel Falcao expected to make his debut, the team will have a new dimension as it tries to break into the win column.
What they are saying
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, on his team’s adjustments to his new approach: “We have to pass much quicker. We have been trying to do that already on the training pitch. It is also true that we are losing the ball too much, too early. Maybe the reason is because I am demanding much faster play. It might be a vicious circle. The pressure is much higher on the players to act quickly and they end up losing the ball.”
QPR defender Rio Ferdinand on his United departure: “I had great years at Old Trafford,’ Ferdinand told the BBC. ‘I never got to say goodbye when I left, which was unfortunate, so it will be a nice opportunity to say bye to a lot of people who supported me and helped me.”
No result would be a surprising one at this point in United’s transition, and while there is a danger the intentional break allowed players to distract themselves from the situation’s urgency, this ship will be righted, at some point.
Bloated, taking on water, United’s barge has had trouble turning into place. But on Sunday, they may find themselves pointed in the right direction. 2-0, Red Devils.