Title Still Very Much on for Mourinho's Men
Manchester United may be 13 points behind runaway leaders Chelsea at Christmas but the Premier League title isn’t out of reach just yet. Jose Mourinho’s side are unbeaten in their last eight domestic fixtures and the Red Devils are starting to put together an ominous run of form as the business end of the season approaches.
The likes of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimović and Anthony Martial have raised their game in recent weeks, but the emergence of Henrikh Mkhitaryan as an attacking option has helped Mourinho’s men to find their best form ahead of the busy festive period. The Armenian star took a while to settle and adjust to life at Old Trafford but he is now arguably one of the first names on the team sheet.
If United can sneak a couple of positive results against their title rivals, the Red Devils will be able to close the gap at the top of the table. United fans have been spoilt in the modern era, but in fact, the 19-time English champions haven’t lifted the crown since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.
Mourinho will go down in history as one of the best managers in the Premier League but his legacy at Old Trafford will certainly be boosted if he can mastermind the Red Devils to a shock title triumph. As mentioned in a recent Oddschecker preview, United have closed the gap to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur to just three points and Mourinho will be quietly confident of climbing above the North London outfit before the end of the calendar year.
United were impressive when beating Spurs by one goal to nil earlier this month and the Red Devils’ consistency in defence could make all the difference in the title race. Mourinho’s men have won two of their last three fixtures without conceding a goal. Phil Jones’ return to form has been a key reason for their improvement at the back.
Jones has struggled to hold down a regular place in the United starting line-up since moving to Old Trafford in 2011 but Mourinho has praised the England star for his improved efforts this season. At 24 years old, Jones may be entering his peak years. Red Devils supporters will be hoping that the former Blackburn Rovers defender can avoid picking up a long term injury for the remainder of the campaign.
The United man has now played nine games since returning to the side at the beginning of November and his flourishing partnership with the aggressive Marcos Rojo has helped to give United some added bite in defence - and that is exactly what the Red Devils needed to build some momentum ahead of the busy festive period.
At the end of the day, there are still plenty of points to be won and lost and United tend to come alive in the second half of the campaign. With the Old Trafford faithful in full support of Mourinho’s men, United could yet close the gap and pip Chelsea to the title this campaign – an achievement that would taste incredibly sweet for the Portuguese after receiving plenty of criticism in the last couple of years.