Manchester City vs Manchester United Premier League Preview

Manchester City vs Manchester United Preview: Key men to the left?

Go back seven months to the last Manchester derby and Manchester United ruined Manchester City’s coronation. Pep Guardiola’s side were 2-0 up at half-time, set to be crowned champions in front of their neighbours. What followed was irrelevant in one respect – they clinched the Premier League title the following weekend – but not in others. If it spared United the ignominy of seeing City celebrate and got Jose Mourinho a rare win over Guardiola, it also showed Paul Pogba’s catalytic impact.

The Frenchman scored twice in United’s comeback that day. If his performances this season have attracted decidedly mixed reviews, the numbers offer another picture. Pogba ranks second in Twelve’s Premier League leader board for the season, behind only Leicester’s Harry Maguire.

Examine the different coloured bars and it shows how his contribution stretches across the pitch, underlying his abilities as a box-to-box midfielder. It suggests he is the best all-round player in the division (at least while City’s Kevin de Bruyne is injured). If he does not have as many attacking points as City’s David Silva, he has delivered more in defence and off the ball. Read More

Juventus vs Manchester United

Juventus vs Manchester United Preview: Will United turn up this time?

The reason why both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal were sacked by Manchester United was their inability to guide Manchester United to the Champions League. The former was sacked two days after it became mathematically impossible for the team to finish in the top four, even though the reality was that it had been confirmed much earlier.

Van Gaal was sacked two days after winning the FA Cup with United in 2016. They finished fifth that season and therefore missed out on qualification for the elite European competition.

In contrast, Jose Mourinho booked United’s place in the Champions League at the end of his first season in charge after winning the Europa League. United bowed out in the first knock-out round following the group stage though, after putting up very little fight against Sevilla.

Still, in the following season, United finished second and again qualified for the competition, and supporters will be hoping for improved performances in this campaign. Read More

Bournemouth vs Manchester United

Bournemouth vs Manchester United: A turning point for both sides

Manchester United successfully recovered from their midweek Champions League defeat against Juventus as they recorded a 2-1 win against Everton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon. That win put the 20-time English champions above the Toffees into the eighth position in the table ahead of their trip to in-form Bournemouth this weekend.

The French connection worked well as Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial both got on the score sheet. The latter once again proved to be one of the best, if not the best, attacking option of Jose Mourinho’s side. Martial has got a chance because of Mourinho’s decision to axe the struggling Romelu Lukaku from his starting line-up which saw a somehow different United on the pitch.

Still, not for the first time this season, it was a far from convincing performance from United as a late Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty left the hosts with a nervy final fifteen minutes. Ultimately, Everton hadn’t picked their chances as United improved on a miserable run that had brought just one win from their previous seven games. Read More

Manchester United vs Newcastle Premier League Preview

Manchester United vs Newcastle Preview: Not easy for Red Devils

Manchester United missed a chance to get a morale-boosting win as they drew 0-0 at home in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Not that they were the better side, but a win against Valencia would have dragged them from the toxic vortex in which they have been floundering for some time.

Though both teams responded well from their previous domestic clashes, the match ended goalless. United put in a better performance than in their 3-1 defeat against West Ham United, but the problems for Jose Mourinho’s men remain the same. Everything in the red half of Manchester seems irreparable.

The Portuguese coach is constantly under fire from various directions and everything suggests his time at the club is over. Following United’s latest poor performance, Mourinho was heavily criticized by club legends Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes.

The latter was “surprised that he survived after Saturday” and said that Mourinho is “embarrassing the club” at the moment. The whole situation is hugely debatable, as surely nobody can blame only Mourinho for this, nor the players alone either. The problems run far deeper and certainly include the board. As rumours of Zinedine Zidane becoming the new Manchester United coach are rising, Ed Woodward will soon have to make a final decision. Read More

Premier League Fantasy Football Picks: Week Eight

In last week’s article, I mentioned that we had yet to win a cash prize on Draft Kings. The gods of fantasy football must’ve taken pity on me, because our barren run is now over. Check this out.

Premier League Fantasy Football Picks: Week Eight

Half a buck! The drinks (glasses of tap water) are on me! Jokes aside, as it was only $0.25 to enter this particular contest, that’s a pretty good return on investment, wouldn’t you say? Let’s see who Twelve’s algorithm has selected for week eight. Read More

Manchester United vs Valencia Champions League Preview

Manchester United vs Valencia Preview: José on the brink?

José Mourinho may already be in the last chance saloon at Manchester United following a disastrous week that saw the club knocked out of the League Cup at the hands of Derby, before suffering a humiliating 3-1 defeat against West Ham. Tuesday night provides the manager with the opportunity for some redemption when the team face Valencia in the Champions League.

Having won their opening game in the tournament 3-0 away to Young Boys, a home game against the Spanish side, who have won just one of their seven league games this season, should present an easy opportunity for Mourinho to win back some of his pride. Nobody will be betting on it being as simple as it looks on paper though, given United’s woes recently.

One positive from the recent trip to the London Stadium was the performance of substitute Marcus Rashford. Initially deployed on the right, before swapping to the left flank, the young forward brought more energy to United’s attack. He wanted to get involved in everything, having missed out on the last three games following his red card against Burnley, and was rewarded for his efforts with an excellent backheeled goal. Read More

West Ham vs Manchester United Premier League Preview

West Ham vs Manchester United: Was Pogba right to attack Jose’s tactics?

It’s been a rough week for Manchester United. The building momentum I wrote about last time collapsed in the next 90 minutes of Premier League football. In between, José Mourinho’s men made a positive start to the Champions League season against Young Boys, but their domestic winning run came to a frustrating end with the 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Not once, but many times throughout the pre-season Mourinho pointed out this could be a difficult season for his team. It seems he was right. The Wolves draw was followed by an unexpected exit from the Carabao Cup as Frank Lampard’s Derby County won at Old Trafford on penalties. But that’s not the only problem United are facing at the moment. The most recent one is Paul Pogba losing his captaincy due to negative comments about the team’s tactics. Read More

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur Preview: Can United lift the gloom?

Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur on Monday night is perhaps the earliest ‘must win’ game the Red Devils have ever played.

After an opening day victory over Leicester, United suffered an embarrassing 3-2 defeat away to Brighton the following weekend, and depressing stories about the club have filled the back pages pretty much every day since.

The biggest question mark lies over the defence, with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof putting in a woeful performance last Sunday. Their shocking errors cost their team the points and José Mourinho has a big decision to make over whether to back them once more for the Spurs game.

To further raise the stakes, World Cup top scorer Harry Kane has broken his infamous August goal-scoring curse and will look to add to his tally at Old Trafford. Alongside Dele Alli, the pair have made a promising start to this Premier League campaign and won’t be overawed by the prospect of facing United away. Read More