United currently sit top of the Premier League with a 2 point lead and a game in hand over second place Arsenal, we look in a good position to win the league and some papers have been talking up our chances (despite having not gone as far as crowning us winners like they did with Chelsea after about 6 games).
Initially it was looked unfortunate that our game with Chelsea was called off but having heard team news it wasn’t so bad as we would have missed Vida, Anderson, Nani and Carrick through a flu bug that swept through Carrington.
Fortunately they will all be ready to face Sunderland today and how vital their inclusions will be will be told when we look at the table not only tonight but also 10 days as this Christmas period is particularly tricky. There is no denying that United are in a great position but it is no guarantee of success in May as in the past 10 years there has been a 50-50 split of teams top at Christmas going on to win and lose the title.
United have surrendered the title after leading at Christmas 3 times most notably in 97-98 to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal and this time around we have a more than eager pack of followers ready to capitalise on any slip ups we make. The next couple of games are vital: Sunderland, Birmingham, West Brom and Stoke will each provide stern tests and we will need to be at our best to come through all 4 games unscathed. We drew 0-0 with Sunderland in October, 2-2 with West Brom in the proceeding game and it took a late Hernandez goal to dispatch Stoke.
Sir Alex has stated that if we sit atop of the Premier League table after the Stoke game we will be in good stead to take the title back from Chelsea and whilst this is true, we must not forget that we have a load more games to go before May, fortunately we appear to be getting into the right gear and this ‘winter break’ we have been afforded may prove to be beneficial in the long run.
What side will the coin land in terms of winning the league having been top at Christmas? I’m not psychic but Park Ji Sung appears certain that we can win the league and there is an air of confidence and positivity around the team that hasn’t always been there this season so I would be pretty happy to hazard a guess and say we will take the title but I won’t get ahead of myself, one step at a time and all that eh?
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