Ever since that embarrassing defeat to Huddersfield Town in October, it seems that José Mourinho’s side have strengthened their resolve to try and forget such sorry performances.
Recently we’ve seen a surprising boost in the players’ morale that suggests that they still think that they have some chance of catching up with Manchester City in a dramatic title race.
Whilst emphatic wins over the likes of Newcastle United and Watford might not have surprised anybody who looked at the accumulator predictions from Bet And Skill, the side’s self-assured victories over highly placed teams like Tottenham and Chelsea suggest that there’s a newfound confidence at Old Trafford.
But it’s how Manchester United fare against Arsenal this weekend that’s going to be the most decisive factor. The team have shown a certain amount of flexibility recently with even Paul Pogba letting someone else take a free kick, and it’s this willingness to adapt that could be Manchester United’s trump card.
Arsenal have similarly been enjoyed a regained sense of confidence, and it’s going to be a difficult match to predict. But with further Manchester United games against the likes of Bournemouth, West Bromwich, and Leicester City in the run up to Christmas, it’s clear that now is the time for José Mourinho’s side to turn on that Old Trafford magic.
This is especially so as Manchester City barely scraped by a bruising encounter with Huddersfield Town last week, and it’s clear that Pep Guardiola’s team must surely have their unbeaten spell broken sooner or later.
And so this is why 10 December will be a date that’s looming large in the minds of fans of both Manchester sides, as Old Trafford will host the Manchester derby that’s sure to provide plenty of fireworks.
The last time that these two teams met it ended in a 2-0 victory for Manchester United, and they will be hoping to create another scoreline like this if they want to make the title race even more dramatic.
And Manchester City will have to face Tottenham the following weekend, and so this is precisely the time when José Mourinho’s team need to strike if they are truly willing to get that elusive Premier League title.
This is especially so as Manchester United players like Ashley Young are clearly coming into their own. And even the much-maligned Jesse Lingard gave United fans plenty to cheer about in the recent Watford victory with a superbly executed goal.
So although it seemed that Manchester City were once in a comfortable position at the top of the Premier League table, it looks like they might have some close company from some very local rivals.
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BIOGRAPHY: Unai Emery
BIOGRAPHY: Adam Lallana