Jose Mourinho said on Friday, before the match against Crystal Palace that he believes Manchester United will be in top four of the Premier League table by Christmas. The manager talked about himself being confident his team will improve and start winning points in a run of matches that could be crucial for their season, but the first match denied all of that.
United drew 0-0 in a match that was not filled with great chances. The Devils deserved to get just one point from that match and the two points are lost before the whole run of matches properly started. But today we are asking the question how far Man United truly are from the top four?
Not just in terms of finishing the season in top four, but in terms of what we have seen so far this season. Also, we are talking a look at the fixtures that lie ahead.
Seven Matches Before The Start Of 2019
We will look at all matches between now and start of 2019 and there are seven Premier League matches for Man United. They will start December away at Southampton, before hosting matches against two London clubs – Arsenal and Fulham. After that, it will be the big clash against Liverpool at Anfield and that will be followed by a trip to Wales, to play Cardiff City. The 2018 will be finished with consecutive matches at Old Trafford against Huddersfield and Bournemouth.
Manchester United will realise that matches against Arsenal and Liverpool are important ones in making up the points difference that is currently between them and Red Devils. But, it is the matches against sides like Huddersfield and Southampton that are often creating problems for United on a grand scheme of things.
If United win 15 points in those five matches, then they will be in a much stronger position, while some points against Gunners and Reds are definitely possible.
Why Is The Trio So Far Ahead?
So what is necessary for Man United to change in order to bridge the gap between them and the three teams that are currently fighting for top four – Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs? There are several things to mention. All three teams have a system of their own that their managers are using constantly. Emery brought in a new system, as well as Sarri, and both things are work in progress right now, but the teams have improved due to those systems.
Spurs are part of perennial great work of Mauricio Pochettino and his players. Man United on the other hand do not have any kind of continuity, as Mourinho is still unsure of what he wants to do with this squad.
Also, the three teams are more efficient. Spurs are third with just 23 goals scored (United scored 20), Arsenal continuously play great in second half, which impacts their results heavily and Chelsea remind a little bit of Guardiola’s first season Man City. All of that is enough for the teams to be far ahead of this, so far, mediocre Man United.