Manchester United’s remaining fixtures assessed

Sir Alex Ferguson shouting
Manchester United are 12 points clear with 36 points left to play for.

Manchester United are current top of the league with a twelve point cushion from twenty-six games played. Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t have dreamed of such a lead in August and will no doubt look to extend that gap even further, following Manchester City’s last gasp title clincher on goal difference last season. As Doron did last season, we take a look at the remaining Premier League fixtures to see whether United can win the Championship for an unprecedented twentieth time.

Updated: 15th April 2013

QPR (Away)

– Last season: United won 2-0
United haven’t lost at QPR since the 1988/89 season, although the West Londoners spent over a decade outside the top flight following their relegation in 1996. In that season, United needed a last gasp Eric Cantona equaliser to salvage a point, a goal that many QPR fans still believe was a massive contribution to their relegation. Last season, Wayne Rooney scored in the first minute before a brilliant solo effort from Michael Carrick. QPR are fighting for their lives and have only won a single match at home this season against Fulham. Adel Taarabt scored both goals in a 2-1 victory and of course, QPR drew 0-0 with Manchester City. Excluding the 4-1 thrashing from Swansea City two weeks ago, QPR hadn’t lost a match in 2013, although drew four games on the trot (three of those being 0-0). Expect a tough game but United to come through, just.

Last 5 results vs. QPR away: WDWWW (always league matches)

Prediction: 2-1 United
Actual result: 2-0 United

Norwich (Home)

– Last season: United won 2-0
Manchester United surprisingly lost 1-0 away at Norwich earlier in the season, although Norwich were well worth the three point. The canaries haven’t won a game since beating Wigan 2-1 on December 15th, over two months ago. They’ve only won one game away from home this season, which was an epic 4-3 encounter with Swansea City. United will be strong favourites for this game and expect a better result than last season.

Last 5 results vs. Norwich at home: WWWDW

Prediction: 3-0 United
Actual result: 4-0 United

West Ham (Away)

– Last season: N/A
Whenever United travel to West Ham, you are reminded of games gone by which cost United dearly. In 91/92 United lost 1-0, with Ludek Miklosko in superb form and Leeds United won the championship. Fast forward three years and the Czech goalkeeper did it again, stopping Andy Cole time and time again for United to draw 1-1 and lose the league by a single point to Blackburn Rovers. West Ham’s home record is far more impressive than their away record. They’ve lost three times at home, to Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton. The fixtures falls right after United’s second leg tie with Real Madrid, so a lot could be down to the result and performance of that match. Not an easy place to get a result and United lost in 2007/08 their on the way to the title and European Cup.

Last 5 results vs. West Ham away: WWWLL

Prediction: 1-1

Reading (Home)

– Last season: N/A
Manchester United and Reading were involved in one of the most entertaining forty five minutes of the whole Premier League season. Only recently, both sides contested an FA Cup quarter final, which saw United run out 2-1 winners. Reading have only won a single match this season away from home and are ranked the worst Premier League side on their travels having only picked up five points. Their only away win came recently against Newcastle United, with Le Fondre scoring both goals. United should run out comfortable winners.

Last 5 results vs. Reading at home: DW (Only league games ever at home)

Prediction: 2-0 United
Actual result: 1-0 United

Sunderland (Away)

– Last season: United won 1-0
The ground where United were seconds away from clinching a 20th league title having beaten Sunderland 1-0, only to hear of a late winner at Eastlands. Wayne Rooney gave United victory with a first half header, although the final 15 minutes were very different to what you expected normally due to the circumstances of match. Sunderland have had a mixed season, with Martin O’Neil under pressure at the start of December, but has since seen his side beat Manchester City at home 1-0. United have had a good record at Sunderland over recent years, so Ferguson will be confident of a win.

Last 5 results vs. Sunderland away: WDWWW

Prediction: 2-1 United
Actual result: 1-0 United

Manchester City (Home)

– Last season: United lost 6-1
Many Reds (and Blues) will never forget derby day at Old Trafford in 2011. United were absolute hammered 6-1 by the visiting side, which of course was an enormous factor in their title win. Although City were by far the better side on the day and deserved the emphatic victory, with David Silva taking centre stage, United had Evans sent off early in the second and then fell to pieces in the final ten minutes, with City scoring three goals in injury time. Although City will be fighting for their lives to cling on to their title, United will have a point to prove from the previous season and Sir Alex Ferguson won’t let them forget it. With Fergie’s horse Harry The Viking is running in the Grand National a few days previous, it could be a double celebration for the gaffer.

Last 5 results vs. Manchester City at home: LWWWL

Prediction: 2-1 United
Actual result: 2-1 City

Stoke City (Away)

Last season: Drew 1-1
Since Stoke City were promoted to the top flight under the guidance of Tony Pulis, United have done very well – both at home and away. Last season saw United drop points for the first time at Stoke since 1984, when the home side won 2-1. Chuck in a league cup tie in the mid-90s and that is generally the only football the two sides have played in the last thirty years. Stoke have a very strong home record, only losing once to Chelsea 4-0. They taken points off both Arsenal and Manchester City whilst humbling Liverpool 3-1. United beat Stoke 4-2 earlier in the season, with Danny Welbeck notching up his one league goal of the season. Although United will be expected to win, Stoke could prove a stumbling block (especially with games mounting up) and take a point from the match.

Last 5 results vs. Stoke City away: DWWWL

Prediction: 0-0
Actual result: 2-0 United

Aston Villa (Home)

Last season: United won 4-0
Aston Villa are a shadow of former glories. European Champions in 1982 and thirty one years later fighting for top flight survival. They were last relegated in 1986/87, but bounced back the following season – this time around Paul Lambert will be hoping to avoid the drop. United have had a fantastic record at Villa Park, both against Villa and other opposition, and this season fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2, with Javier Hernandez starring. At home, United have only lost one in five, back in 2009 when Michael Carrick was playing at centre half. United should be too strong for Villa and repeat the same scoreline from last season.

Last 5 results vs. Aston Villa at home: WWLWW

Prediction: 4-0 United
Actual result: 3-0 United

Arsenal (Away)

Last season: United won 2-1
There was a time when this fixture would give the marketing men at Sky a field day at the potential ‘Americanised’ adverts they could produce. Arsene Wenger and Arsenal are no longer competitors for the league title, but will be a very difficult obstacle just like in 2010/11 when United lost 1-0 towards the end of the season. Arsenal had nothing to play for at the time and, unless there is a miracle against Bayern Munich, will be in the same boat this time around. The signing of Robin van Persie was seen as a sign of weakness from Arsenal by their fans and they will no doubt want to get behind their team to halt their former captain’s surge for the title. It does depend on what Arsenal turn up, but no title run in ever runs smoothly, United could lose this.

Last 5 results vs. Arsenal away: WLWWL

Prediction: United lose 2-1
Actual result: 1-1

Chelsea (Home)

Last season: United won 3-2
Rafa Benitez, if he is still in a job, will take his Chelsea side to Old Trafford to face Sir Alex Ferguson once again. Benitez famously ranted about Ferguson and his “influence” over referees in the 2008/09 season when manager of Liverpool. United went onto to win the title, with Liverpool finishing in second place having led the table before Rafa’s rant. Chelsea were flying high at the start of the season, until United went to the bridge and won 3-2, which saw the European Champions not win another match for a month and half and dumped out of the European Cup at the group stage. Chelsea are probably the most inconsistent side in the league, with one weekend smashing a side and another losing all three points. Chelsea will be competing for a European Champions League spot and the result could be influence by the potential quarter final clash between the two sides. There have been lots of goals in recent fixtures, the last time both sides failed to score in the league at Old Trafford was in 1995, and expect the same again.

Last 5 results vs. Chelsea away: WWWLW

Prediction: 3-2 United

Swansea (Home)

Last season: United won 2-0
Many United fans will be hoping that the league title will have been won already, but if it isn’t – Swansea City will be hoping to spoil the show. United won 2-0 last season, although it was an odd victory as the home side were in need of more goals to close the goal difference with leaders Manchester City. Paul Scholes and Ashley Young scored the goals in United’s last home game of the season, which ironically is the same for this campaign. Michael Laudrup has done a fantastic job, leading the side to the League Cup final in his debut season. Sometimes a victorious cup winning side can slow down towards the end of a campaign, if everything is still to play for – United will be hoping this is the case, providing they beat Bradford City of course. Fulham have won four games away from home this season, including a 2-0 victory at The Emirates.

Last 5 results vs. Swansea City at home: WWWWW (1983 was the last time the two sides met prior to last season)

Prediction: 3-0 United

WBA (Away)

Last season: United won 2-1
United’s final game of the season was actually the opener to the last campaign, and Sir Alex will be hoping for more of the same. WBA have been decent this term under Steve Clarke, but have lost their way in the league since losing to United at the end of December, but recently beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield. They battered Reading away, but lost the game 3-2 with Lukaku netting two, even though he could have had five. United have a good record at The Hawthorns, winning the last five fixtures played there, so hopefully the final game of the season will result in three points and a league title.

Last 5 results vs. WBA away: WWWWW

Prediction: 1-0 United

Please note: Many different things influence a title run in, for example loss of form (remember last season losing to Wigan, drawing with Everton and then losing to City?), injuries (remember Wayne Rooney injuring his ankle against Bayern Munich in 2010?) and other competitions (remember losing to AC Milan in Champions League and Chelsea in FA Cup final?) – so this assessment is basically on show for a discussion. I will aim to update as the season evolves, but I will keep the original score in, to see if I get any right!

We welcome comments from all fans on the title run in.

10 Comments on Manchester United’s remaining fixtures assessed

  1. I think it’s vital for us not to lose the home games against Shitty and Chelsea and win all the others(home games)…Also,I agree with the rest of ur analysis,I too expect a “slip-up” in the away games against West Ham,Stoke and Arsenal.Hopefully,everything will go through as planned,and we’ll clinch the desperately wanted title nmbr 20 🙂

  2. I just think it’s important to register the win against QPR.
    With shitty not playing until Sunday going 15 points clear will just put a huge amount of pressure on them.
    Last year we did not go for the kill when the opportunity arose and they knew this.
    I don’t think this City team is as mentally strong as they would like to think. There were a lot of players that felt they had a point to prove Tevez, Nasri & Yaya Toure having moved from big clubs.
    It’s this mentality to know the party’s over and you have to do it all again that Roy Keane spoke about in his book that sets players apart.

  3. we lost game against norwich because fergie put mickey mouse midfield combination, not because norwich were superior as fergie propaganda machine try to tell:)

  4. Can see WBA and Sunderland as possible slips(draws) as per fixtures and team choice. UTD to win 20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, shitty blip is well and truly over:0)

  5. Lets hope for United to win all their remaining 9 matches in the league and break the 100 points mark !!

  6. We have already won by beating villa,but we still have to beat chelsea ,arsenal, n swansea to get 93 points as winners.

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