It seems that this season has been another one where United finish with more questions than answers. While results have by and large improved, it was only at the beginning of the season where United looked like a side with a definite game-plan, with, at times, scintillating counter attacks at the heart of everything they were doing well.
However, things seemed to have regressed a little since those heady days in August, with many fans willing to call time on the season after the defeat to Sevilla. Still, there is plenty left to play for over the coming few weeks not least second spot and FA Cup trophy. Below are three goals to aim for over the next few weeks.
Don’t Lose to City on 7th April:
That line nearly read ‘beat City on 7th April’, but it is likely that most United fans would take a draw at the Etihad. There is, of course, a possibility that City are crowned champions on that day, although Swansea will need to beat United at Old Trafford on 31st March for that to happen. Anyway, even more so than the recent game to Liverpool, United need a performance here. It is more than just the points and securing seconding place, it is about coming away with a bit of dignity. Current odds have City at 8/13 and United at 5/1 to win. Those odds really show the gap between the two clubs at the moment. A point or three would give United some satisfaction as they watch City’s procession towards the title.
Win the FA Cup
Not the most leftfield aspiration, because of course United should be aiming to win the FA Cup. It’s not going to be easy though, with the semi-final against Spurs and Chelsea or Southampton waiting in the Final. The bookmakers are all over the place with the odds too, some putting Chelsea as favourites at 13/8 and others putting Spurs as 2/1 favourites. United are priced around 9/4 and you can see the reasoning as they are effectively playing Spurs away in the semi-final. United fans will remember the short-work they made of Mourinho’s men at Wembley just a few weeks ago. The Cup is tough to call, so check out these latest free bets from UK bookmakers before you part with any cash.
Like performing in the City game, this one is more about the psychological benefits rather than the actual rewards for finishing 2nd. The club looks like they will continue to invest in players in the summer, regardless of where United finish in the table. They know that anything less than 1st place is considered a failure by fans. Ending the season above Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea will give United an edge going into next season. It should give key players like Sanchez, Pogba, De Gea and Martial the sense that they are on the cusp of building something special. Despite being priced at 4/9 to finish 2nd, United are by no means guaranteed to do so with tough ties against City and Arsenal in the run-in. Let’s hope they get it done and use it as a platform to go one better next season.