While the talk has been about the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and even Leicester City for the Premier League crown this season, Manchester United will be happy to have gone under the radar.
There has been plenty of pressure at times this season on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the Red Devils have started to find some form in the league, and they could well stick around into the business end of the campaign.
United building momentum
It really was a stuttering start to the season for the Red Devils, who looked undercooked in their opening game of the league campaign, as they suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace. Old Trafford was not the fortress United were hoping for in the early stages of this term, as they went on to lose to the likes of Tottenham and Arsenal. United had to wait until the second half of November before recording their first home league win of the season, in a drab 1-0 victory against West Brom.
It’s fair to say Solskjaer has helped United turn a corner, and a 3-1 away win at Everton started an unbeaten run that helped the Red Devils fly up the table, and now they are 10/1 with bet365 in the football betting to win the Premier League title this season. Goals have been easy for United to come by of late, with the men in red scoring 28 goals after their first 13 games of the season. If United can continue to put teams away, as they did with a 6-2 win over Leeds United, then they could well see themselves back in the title frame.
Champions League exit shifts focus
While crashing out of the Champions League in the group stages was far from ideal, United have had to switch their focus on the Europa League. Solskjaer would have thrown everything at winning knockout matches in the Champions League, but is unlikely to have the same attitude towards the Europa.
Title rivals Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea will continue to battle on in Europe’s premier competition, and that could play into United’s hands. While Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Frank Lampard will be pushing for Champions League glory, Solskjaer will be able to focus his efforts on trying to land a first Premier League title since the 2012-13 campaign.
Potential to strengthen in January
With United in a competitive position in the table, it’s more than likely they will look to strengthen in the January transfer window. As usual a number of players have been linked with moves to Old Trafford, including Brighton duo Yves Bissouma and Ben White. Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo from Independiente del Valle is also believed to be on the club’s radar.
Wingers Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo have already agreed moves to United in January and will further boost competition for places in the squad. After years of being also-rans in the Premier League, there are certainly positive signs Manchester United could be on their way back to the top.