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one of the most endearing and persistent http://www.atlantafalconsteamonline.com/ryan-schraeder-jersey is the idea that when it comes to local derbies, anything can happen. Form is irrelevant. So too is financial strength, squad depth, managerial prowess, and anything else you might ordinarily consider relevant when thinking about a match. When two teams are located quite close to one another, things get messy.How true is this? Probably not very. But then, that’s not the point: this is an expression not of fact but of hope. Maybe things aren’t this way, but oh, they really should be. It is an idea that appeals to the old roots of football, to a more chaotic time, perhaps all the way back to those pre-modern village-on-village dust-ups. Simultaneously it offers liberation from the iniquities of modern footballing power. Maybe, if we all agree hard enough, the thing that’s obviously going to happen somehow won’t.And as Manchester United’s visit to their nearest and dearest grows nearer, that thought is growing again. What if something weird happens? Maybe even something funny? It is a derby, after all. That lack of travel time plays havoc with reality.If we’re going to talk about something weird, then we should probably start by defining what would be not-weird. Which would be a Manchester City victory, probably quite a comfortable one. They’re just better than United: 18 points better last season, after 38 games, and nine points this after just 11. The City Football Group aren’t idiots, after all. When they mask vast expenditure with a series of elaborate shell companies and inflated sponsorship deals, they do it right. Allegedly.Guardiola’s City will probably end up being regarded as one of the best in Premier League history, while Mourinho’s United 鈥?well, they’re not. (You can put a “yet” on the end of that sentence if you’re feeling kind.) The whys and wherefores of that imbalance are to be debated and contested, of course, but they are there Womens Brian Poole Jersey , whoever’s fault it is. That’s the baseline. What should happen.And so, to what could happen. Hope for weirdness comes from two places. The first is United’s recent uptick in form: they’ve picked up four wins in six games, including that comeback against Juventus. And the draw at Chelsea was, from a United perspective, broadly promising if specifically irritating. You’d be lying if you said that these performances were convincing. United haven’t kept a clean sheet since the stultifying draw against Valencia, and this recent run has also included a schooling at Old Trafford by Juve. But on balance, United look like a team with something about them. Some invention. A touch of collective belief. Maybe even the first hints of an actual attacking plan. And those are the kind of things ruinously expensive football teams really should have, so that’s nice.The other hope for weirdness to come is the weirdness we’ve already seen. The Manchester Derby is actually pretty productive when it comes to derby wackiness: a 6-1 here, a 5-0 there, a 5-1 over in that direction. Even Alex Ferguson’s all-conquering sides occasionally fell victim to the mysterious powers of proximity.In 2013/14, City went to Old Trafford and produced perhaps the most one-sided 20 minutes of football that the Premier League has ever seen. As a stunned David Moyes looked on, City scored in the first minute, then could have picked up another ten or so as United’s defence stood around, apparently baffled at the sight of footballers passing to each other. Then moving. At pace.Also, it says here that in April 2015, a Manchester United side managed by Louis van Gaal scored four goals. Doesn’t seem right. Subs please check.Most recently, last season. United went to the Etihad for City’s title coronation, conceded two before half-time, and then 鈥?won. City just 鈥?melted. Weird again. Indeed, precisely the kind of formbook-through-the-window weirdness that derbies are supposed to produce. It didn’t mean anything in the broader scheme of things. It didn’t seem to come from anywhere or go anywhere. It just happened. An isolated and bizarre collection of things, occurring on a football field. That’s what derbies are in the imagination, and that’s what they are, occasionally, in real life. Just often enough to keep the imagined idea alive. And given that the alternative is another comfortable City victory, there are certainly worse things to hope for. If you are Womens Grady Jarrett Jersey , for some extremely odd reason, still unclear about how good Alabama is, consider this: you very well might be able to look back on their season and point to this Mississippi State game as their worst result this season. To be clear: they won the game 24-0. From a strict margin of victory perspective, the Texas A&M game was Bama’s “worst,” but from a total performance perspective, Mississippi State was the Tide’s biggest speed bump to date. The Tide finally had a game where they did their version of “just enough to win.”Alabama scored on their first two drives of the game, and the thing was pretty much over after that. Nick Fitzgerald is a great running quarterback, but if you have to make Mississippi State chase a game, well ... The Bulldogs went one of 13 on third down, six of which were third and greater than 9. They only ran 50 plays, at a 3.4 yard-per-play clip. MSU got crushed, and their offense made things ... not remotely close. Meanwhile, the Tide offense looked fine against a good defense, not nearly the elite unit that has powered otherworldly ass kickings this season. Tua Tagovailoa was mortal, with 14 of 21 and 164 yards through the air. He again didn’t play the fourth quarter, but that’s because he took a defender’s shoulder to his injured leg in the second half and didn’t return. Nick Saban said “I think he’s fine” after the game. But even while he was in the game, the Bulldogs did a number on Bama. They had five sacks against the Tide, which was almost as much as Alabama had given up during the entire season coming in (six). Their two gains over 20 yards on the day came in the first two drives as well before the Bulldogs defense asserted themselves. After those two drives, this was the Bama drive chart ... But the fact that we can kinda turn up our noses at this result is notable for this Tide team. Defensively this Bama team might still be improving. Arkansas’ 31 points a month ago are now as many as the Tide’s last four opponents combined, and the Tide have now pitched a shutout in nine out of their last 10 quarters. But offensively, Bama’s finally had to work for it, for most of two games in a row.A shutout by not as much as it should be is about the only thing you can pick apart for this Alabama team because they’re that good. And that point by our Alabama blog is the biggest takeaway. The Tide have just obliterated the normal standard for even a Bama team. It’s why we consider a 24-0 win as doing just enough.
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