Another international break is behind us (well, almost completely). Some Manchester United players went on to play in the World Cup qualifying play-offs and some simply participated in friendly matches.
Now, the players are returning to Manchester for the crucial part of the season. Introductory months of the new season are past us and now it all begins. From now on, we will really see how much any team can do this season. Therefore, it will be an important part of the season for Manchester United as well.
Manchester United Need To Win Against Newcastle
So, what do Manchester United need from the rest of November? The past month proved to be tricky. The goals stopped happening as often as they were. United lost two of their last five matches and did not score more than two goals in any of the matches between October and November international break.
The matches against Stoke City and Liverpool have come right after the international breaks. Manchester United drew both times. It was 2-2 in Stoke and goalless at Anfield, so Jose Mourinhoâ’s team must make sure they beat Newcastle. This time around Man United will be hosts, unlike the before mentioned matches. Rafael Benitez’s side should not be a huge task, especially compared to the last game against champions Chelsea.
Romelu Lukaku had a good international break with Belgium. Anthony Martial impressed for France on Tuesday. On the other hand, Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini were not in action at all, so they will be rested. A strong performance this weekend should give a positive note to this November.
Completely Fit Pogba
This is an important one. Everyone talked about how Paul Pogba will become for Manchester United, especially since Matic joined. The first couple of matches after his injury did not really indicate that will be the case. However, soon it turned out to be true.
Pogba’s flair, drive and personality were duly missed. Lukaku struggled to get into goalscoring chances and Rashford only had occasional bursts of high quality performances. And what about Henrikh Mkhitaryan who went missing in the last month and a half.
It does not have to necessarily be connected with Pogba’s injury, but that should change once the Frenchman is fit. He brings guile, agility and explosiveness to this team and Man United did look dire on several occasions. Even if Pogba misses matches against Newcastle and Basel in the Champions League, it does not matter. Manchester United only need him one hundred per cent fit.
Keeping Up With Manchester City
This is the most important part. Manchester United have the appetite and want to fight for the title. The season is still young at this point, but Manchester City already have eight point lead.
Two Manchester clubs will meet on 10 December, but until then it would be crucial for Man United to at least keep the distance. Matches against Newcastle, Brighton and Watford are all winnable, but not completely simple. Nine points from three matches would be good preparation for the matches against Arsenal and, subsequently, Manchester City.