Manchester United will be heading to Newcastle this weekend, as they play the Magpies on Sunday afternoon. Premier League’s 27th round will see United visit Rafael Benitez’s side, as the hosts will be in urge of getting points in their relegation battle.
However, Manchester United are in quite different situation right now. They are sitting pretty in second with five points more than the team behind them. That is nice lead in Champions League qualification chase, but Jose Mourinho’s side cannot sleep on the laurels. The loss against Tottenham was less than ten days ago and United still have a lot of work to do.
Zlatan Is Back, Newcastle Is Next Up
“The squad is good, everything is fine. Eric Bailly and Daley Blind are the two players that are out [in addition to Fellaini]. Zlatan Ibrahimovic started training with the team two days ago, so two days with the group and he is improving. We are fine”, said Mourinho on Friday in a press conference prior to the Sunday match.
That Manchester United are good also said their win last weekend against Huddersfield. The match at Old Trafford brought a nice dispatching of the Terriers. Now, another team that is battling relegation will be the opponent. Mourinho is obviously being cautious prior to the match. Newcastle are a well organized side that can defend properly for long periods, especially if they do not concede an early goal. Mourinho seems to be aware of that.
“I don’t know [what makes St James’ Park so difficult ground]! I like the feeling of going to Mr Sir Bobby Robson’s home, I like the Geordies and the stadium but I have lost and drawn a few times there. I hope the result on Sunday is different.”
Man United fans should hope so too, as the team is heading in great direction regarding Champions League qualification. In recent years that has not been something that was happening too often, but this time Manchester United are on course to finishing as runners-up. Comparing to last season when they finished sixth, that is a great progress.
It will also be important to keep winning, as the remaining four teams from the Big 6 are fighting for the remaining two places. It is not like United have already secured second place, but they look much better than some other teams at this point in time.
Chasing The Glory – Why Not?
Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham are divided by only two points, while Arsenal in sixth has four points less than their biggest rival. The North London Derby this Saturday could even get Arsenal out of the race for the champions league, as nine points behind Tottenham would seem too much for them.
Looking at Manchester United, a comfortable win would see them prepare for Huddersfield in FA Cup without any interferences. After that, the Champions League awaits and Manchester United must everything they have into the glorious competition. Beating Spanish side would open the doors of quarterfinals and with a decent draw, the last four could be close.
It is a tournament competition after all and Mourinho knows how to win those.