This week, the fixture list has fallen kindly for Manchester United and presented an opportunity for Ole Gunnar Solksjær’s time to close the gap to Chelsea in fifth.
Manchester United sit fifth in the Premier League table, five points behind Chelsea in the fourth and final (depending on City’s UCL ban) Champions League place.
This week there’s a round of mid-week fixtures that will see two crunch clashes in the race for Champions League football as Manchester United welcome Sheffield United to Old Trafford and Chelsea host Manchester City.
Sheffield United come to Manchester in awful form having played two games without winning either since the restart.
Chris Wilder’s side were involved in the first game post-lockdown when they took the trip to Birmingham to face Aston Villa last week. Although they did score a perfectly legitimate goal that would have given them the points, a faulty Goal Decision System disallowed it and the game finished 0-0.
Then, on Sunday, Wilder took his Blades to the north east to face Newcastle and they very much had their a**e handed to them as the Magpies ran out 3-0 winners at St James’ Park.
All-in-all, there’s rarely been a better time to face Sheffield United this season. As a result, Manchester United should be able to pick up all three points on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s mid-week game could hardly be a tougher test. City come into the game off the back of a 3-0 win against Arsenal last week and what I am going to bravely assume will be another win tonight against Burnley.
Point being, there’s a serious chance for United to cut the cap to the top four down to just two points this week.
With Chelsea’s next serious test coming in the penultimate game-week when they play Liverpool, on the face of it this is our best chance to close that gap to touching distance going into the last few games.
Nothing less than victory will do on Wednesday and we could seriously do with our old city rivals to do us a solid in the capital on Thursday! A big week lies ahead…