Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview

Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview: Another big away win for Ole?

Arsenal vs Manchester United used to be the biggest match in the Premier League. And while it still carries importance, it’s more relevant in the race for Champions League qualification rather than for the championship itself.

When Jose Mourinho was sacked, the Gunners were eight points ahead of United. When the sides clashed in the FA Cup in January, they had identical W-D-L records in the league. Now the Red Devils are a point ahead, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s magic touch has given them a power rarely seen under José Mourinho: they’ve won several big matches away from home. But have they deserved to? Read More

Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview

Manchester United vs Liverpool Preview: Will the fixture flops come good?

Manchester United vs Liverpool is still arguably the biggest match in English football, even if it’s been rare that they’ve been competing with each other for the title in the last quarter of a century.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will hope history repeats itself. Liverpool victories at Old Trafford are rare events – there have been just 13 in history – but they have won in each of the last two seasons where they were embroiled in the title tussle. As this is their game in hand on Manchester City, three points here would do Liverpool’s championship challenge the power of good.

The most fascinating match up in this game is between two players who probably won’t come into much direct contact during the match. But according to our algorithm they’ve been the top man for each side, so will surely have key parts to play on Sunday. Read More

Fulham vs Manchester United

Fulham vs Manchester United Preview: Can we get an Olé for Ole?

As much as it hurts me as a Liverpool fan, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deserves a tip of the hat for all he’s done in little over two months at Manchester United.

The Norwegian has dramatically turned the tables around at Old Trafford. Not only has Ole improved the results but he also picked up the pieces of United’s wrecked confidence and rebuilt the atmosphere, team spirit and the overall attitude within the squad.

Feel free to call me out for stating the obvious but I find it rather appropriate to focus my first-ever post about Manchester United on Twelve’s blog on the effect United’s former striker has had in such a short time since replacing the obsolete, antediluvian, vieux jeu, ________ (choose your own attribute) Portuguese back in December. Read More

Manchester United vs Burnley

Manchester United vs Burnley Preview: A clash of in-form teams

Who would have thought? It’s been eight games and eight wins in a row in all competitions for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with 22 goals scored in the process. Manchester United will be looking to make it nine straight wins under the Norwegian when they welcome Burnley to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Tuesday night.

Even in Solskjaer’s wildest dreams (and in mine too), the Norwegian would not have expected to be in this position when he replaced Jose Mourinho last month. Just a few weeks ago, Manchester United were an incredible 11 points behind Arsenal. Now, goal difference alone separates them and the race for the top four is again a reality for Solskjaer’s men.

United are enjoying their longest winning streak since a nine-game run two years ago. They have outscored opponents with a 22-5 difference during their recent run, with liberated midfielder Paul Pogba directly participating in nine of the goals, scoring five with four assists. Solskjaer has also picked up three goals from substitutes compared to the six Mourinho racked up in 24 matches before being sacked.

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Arsenal vs Manchester United

Arsenal vs Manchester United Preview: Battle for 4th can take a back seat

A few weeks ago, Manchester United were an incredible 11 points behind Arsenal. Now, goal difference alone separates them. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revolutionised life at Old Trafford while Unai Emery seems to have lost a grip on things recently. After going on an amazing run a few months ago, Arsenal have lost four of their last nine in all competitions.

However, the recent win over an “unmotivated and mentally weak” Chelsea may have galvanised them. It was a big result and their first big game of three, with them facing Manchester City a week after United in the FA Cup.

While the rivalry between United and Arsenal isn’t what it once was, there’s still no love lost between the two sets of fans. While nothing beats a win over Liverpool for United, or a win over Tottenham Hotspur for Arsenal, the supporters will be well up for seeing their team knock the other out of this competition on Friday. Read More

Manchester United vs Brighton

Manchester United vs Brighton Preview: Solskjaer to sink Seagulls?

Manchester United have made it. Six wins from six games under interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær was clearly enough to lift the dark clouds from Old Trafford. Sunday’s 1-0 win against Tottenham at Wembley was the final evidence that the Norwegian coach is very serious about getting the role permanently at the end of the season as he won the ‘audition for the Old Trafford job’ against Mauricio Pochettino.

The result against Spurs saw United move level on points with Arsenal in fifth place as Solskjær surpassed Sir Matt Busby’s record for the best start as Red Devils manager, while also seeing his side keep back-to-back clean sheets in the Premier League for the first time this season.

The game with Tottenham was Solskjær’s first against a top side and a chance for United’s interim manager to show everyone that enthusiasm, a good atmosphere and friendly relationships with players wasn’t all he has brought to United. Solskjær had a chance to show he was able to outsmart the club’s first favorite to take over the Old Trafford job next summer. Was he successful? Yes, but only to some extent. Read More

Tottenham vs Manchester United

Tottenham vs Manchester United Preview: Competition and Congestion

Almost as quickly as the ‘Pochettino to Manchester United’ rumours appeared they have vanished again from the discourse.

Coverage of Tottenham games return to the games themselves and the Argentine’s initial vague dancing around the subject is replaced by expressing a will to remain in North London for as many as ‘twenty years’ – a similar statement of confidence to ones he has made in the past.

Perhaps the performances of the club under caretaker Ole Gunnar Solskjær, albeit against lesser opposition, has lead the United board to readdress and cool their interest?

Of particular note has been the improvement of Paul Pogba since Mourinho got the sack. Many wanted to see the Frenchman operating a role in a three man-midfield with less defensive responsibility. Jose dismissed those he sarcastically labelled ‘experts’ as a over-simplifying yet here we are witnessing the positive effects of such a move. Read More

Newcastle vs Manchester United Preview: Revitalised Red Devils roll on

A few weeks ago Manchester United supporters may have been looking at their trip to Newcastle as a tricky fixture, which illustrates how much the club had struggled under Jose Mourinho this season, that an away fixture against a bottom half of the table team may be considered a difficult match.

However, there’s is a new sense of optimism now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has joined the club, with three wins out of three since he was appointed.

Still, while United may be scoring more goals these days, giving them the best goal difference now than at any point previously, the defensive issues continue. There were things that Mourinho got wrong during his time as United boss but insisting that the club needed to follow in the footsteps of their rivals, and spend big on an experienced central defender, was not one of them. Read More

Manchester United vs Huddersfield

Manchester United vs Huddersfield Preview: Ole brings back the joy

Manchester United scored five goals in a Premier League game for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement on Saturday evening as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s interim reign got off to a perfect start with victory over Cardiff City in south Wales.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could not do too much in his few days on the Manchester United bench, but he certainly managed to bring back a smile to the players’ faces. And above all – he let them play simple, but very efficient football. In short, the Norwegian liberated United’s attacking potential which was locked and hidden deep in Mourinho’s dark basement of negative football ideas. Read More

Liverpool vs Manchester United Preview: Can Mourinho avoid more pain?

On Sunday Manchester United will shuffle in to Anfield fearing the worst and simply hoping they can escape relatively unscathed. It has been 26 years since such a dispirited band of United players will have arrived to play their biggest rivals.

It was in May 1992 that a disheveled United faced Liverpool knowing they needed to beat them to keep alive their hopes of winning their first league title for a quarter of a century.

But that day they lost 2-0 to an emboldened Liverpool, and suffered the agony of surrendering the title in front of a gleeful Anfield, who naturally reveled in their disappointment. Read More