Opposed to Aston Villa this Friday evening (9 p.m.), Manchester United has the opportunity to come back to the height of the Premier League leader, Liverpool. A comeback that would be remarkable given his start to the season.
A golden opportunity. After the first part of the championship, Manchester United seems to be able to join the race for the title of champion of England. The Red Devils are currently in second place with 30 points, just three small units behind Premier League leaders Liverpool. The Reds, very affected by injuries, seem less sovereign than last season. For example, they have just lost points on Wednesday, after their draw on Newcastle (0-0). A godsend for the men of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who can thus come back to their level by winning at home against Aston Villa, this Friday evening (9 p.m.).
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But it will not be easy. Well led by Jack Grealish, the Villans also made a solid start to the season. They are in 5th place in the standings, with 26 points, but with only 14 games played (against 15 for Manchester United and 16 for Liverpool). The Red Devils will however have to do without Edinson Cavani, who arrived for free after his free departure from Paris Saint-Germain, and suspended three matches for making comments deemed racist. The Uruguayan has mostly been used as a luxury replacement so far, but he has already been able to prove decisive with 3 goals and 2 offerings in 9 small appearances. Despite his absence, Manchester United have the weapons to cause damage to Aston Villa, especially with Bruno Fernandes, his playing master, sparkling in the Premier League with no less than 10 goals scored and 7 assists offered in 15 games played.
A remarkable return
Finding the Mancunians in a position to be tied leaders at the start of 2021 is surprising given their start to the championship. In their first six meetings, the Red Devils have lost three times, with just two wins and a draw. But beyond the poor results, their performances were not at all up to par, as evidenced by their (very) heavy 1-6 defeat at home against Tottenham. With a hard-pressed defense and poor collective play, they relied mainly on their individualities, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford in the lead. Insufficient to play the leading roles. At the start of November, following their 0-1 loss to Arsenal, an unattractive side this season, Manchester United were vegetating at the bottom of the table. The Mancunian club seemed on course to live a difficult season and seemed incapable of having the level of its ambitions. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had even been in the hot seat for several weeks according to the English press; proof of the scale of the crisis that the training was going through.
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Except that after their poor performance against the Gunners, the men of the Norwegian coach started a superb comeback with 9 games unbeaten. They were able to win against weaker teams on paper like West Bromwich Albion, Sheffield United or Leeds (6-2 victory!); get rid of hard-to-play formations like Southampton and West Ham, but above all, they obtained good results against the big teams of the championship (two draws against Manchester City and Leicester City) with the added bonus of a great success away against Everton (1-3). A remarkable comeback which may give them reasons to believe in the title. In any case, this is the objective displayed by Bruno Fernandes: “It’s all about the trophies – the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup, the Europa League and the championship. We all have to go get them. We have the team to do this and the qualities to do it. You have to believe until it is no longer possible, that you can fight for all these titles, ”said the Portuguese playmaker in an interview with the club’s official website. To believe in the Premier League title, the Red Devils will have to achieve a positive result this Friday night and not pass up a chance to put pressure on their direct competitors. The month of January will also be decisive with a potentially decisive trip … to Anfield.