Manchester United started the season on torrid form. Jose Mourinho’s men have started the 2017-18 Premier League season on a strong note, registering three straight wins and looking dominant in the process. Even the more optimistic fans did not believe the team would be THIS good early in the year.
They will get defeated eventually, and at some point they will struggle. But there is no question this team looks like a different squad compared to last year’s one. And here are three reasons why United will shut their critics and win the Premier League title this season.
In-Form Attacking Unit
It is still early in the season, but United’s attacking line has shown promise thanks to 10 goals in just three matches. The Red Devils kicked off the campaign with consecutive 4-0 wins against West Ham United and Swansea City, and lated defeated Leicester City 2-0 at Old Trafford. Granted, they have not faced any of the top teams in the league yet. But there is no question they possess an excellent attacking line that is in-form at the moment.
Lukaku might have missed a penalty kick against Leicester, but has netted four times this season across all competitions. As if that wasn’t enough, the talented striker netted four times in the past two games with Belgium during the international break. There might not be another attacker who is as hot as Lukaku right now. But he is not the only part of the equation for Mourinho.
Anthony Martial has scored twice coming off the bench and also contributed with one assist. Marcus Rashford has one goal and one assist, but dazzled with England during the international break. And Henrikh Mkhitaryan has already tallied five assists in his first three EPL contests. When Paul Pogba (two goals), Juan Mata and the rest get it going, United will be almost impossible stop.
And they are also set to add Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the second part of the season. But we will talk more about him later.
David De Gea Leading a Defence Filled with Depth and Versatility
Experts say having a solid defence is the 50% of a league-winning campaign. And while the small-sample size applies here, United have looked excellent at the back thus far. David De Gea has kept three straight clean sheets to start the campaign, and United are the only team that has not conceded in the EPL yet. That’s an excellent way to start the season.
The four-men line of Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Daley Blind has looked excellent so far. Sure, they might need a star centre-back eventually, but right now they have enough to cover any potential absence.
Missing a fullback? No problem, as Matteo Darmian can cover both flanks with equal ease, and Luke Shaw can offer depth at left-back once he gains some much-needed match fitness. Chris Smalling offers depth at right-back and centre-back. Victor Lindelöf could eventually end up starting at CB alongside Bailly. And while Blind has started at left-back so far, he can play on the right, on the centre, and even in midfield if needed. And we haven’t even mentioned Marcos Rojo yet, as the Argentinian can play at CB or LB when he returns from his knee injury.
On paper, United do not look like the best defence in the league, and there is no question they will come back down to earth sooner than later. But they have been working above the most realistic expectations. And that’s what exactly what the team needed to start the year strong.
The most important reason behind United’s succcess might be theit summer signings. They did not go on a spending spree as Manchester City did, but they added some quality pieces. Mourinho signed Nemanja Matic, Lukaku, Linfelöf and Zlatan, and all four have already made an impact one way or another.
Matic quickly became the engine that keeps United going. After all, he must have done something right to relegate Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini to a secondary role. The former Chelsea player quickly added some much-needed physicality to United’s midfield, and his defensive-minded style has allowed Paul Pogba to play with more freedom, similar to what he did when playing for Juventus.
We already covered what Lukaku and Lindelöf bring to the table, but we are missing one important piece: Zlatan. Ibrahimovic spent last season with United and was the team’s top scorer with 28 goals in 46 matches before suffering a gruesome injury during the UEFA Europe League quarterfinals against Anderlecht. But Zaltan spent his entire summer rehabbing at the club’s facilities, and signed a one-year deal to “finish what he started”.
Ibrahimovic won’t be ready to return until November at the earliest, but fans are already dreaming about him. Zlatan and Lukaku have the potential to form a deadly partnership on the attack. And if the team maintains this form and remains in the title hunt around December, no one will be able to stop them.
It is still early, though. But there is no question United have all the pieces to win their first EPL title since the 2012-13 season.
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