There has been a lot of talk about Manchester United being out of the Premier League title race already, which seems quite strange considering there has only been ten games played of the top-flight campaign so far.
The reigning champions are currently eight points behind league leaders Arsenal, but the top-flight table is currently very tight.
David Moyes men face a vital clash this weekend, as league leaders Arsenal come to Old Trafford.
The Gunners will be in confident mood after winning 1-0 at Dortmund in the Champions League on Wednesday night, while United drew 0-0 at Real Sociedad on Tuesday.
The Gunners are five points clear of the chasing pack in the Premier League, but a United win at Old Trafford would open things right up, with a host of teams hoping to capitalise on any Arsenal slip-ups.
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has revealed how important the Arsenal game is, by telling Sky Sports: “I don’t think we’ve shown ourselves this season on a consistent basis, not just in the big games.
“It is time to start putting our foot on the pedal and motor on. We have to do that if we want to remain in contention to win the league. Arsenal are in a good vein of form. They are the team to catch. We have to make sure we are right and ready for the challenge.
“We have to win every game. It doesn’t matter what game it is or whoever we play against. Whether it’s a top of the league team or not, we have to get points. Nothing changes – we expect to win every game we play at home.”
As Ferdinand suggested, United have had a problem consistently producing their best form this season. In the last four Premier League games, United have won three and drew one though, after suffering a poor start to the season.
It looks like United are starting to produce something like the form of last season in recent weeks. The Red Devils need to start performing on a consistent basis, as they are now playing catch-up to Arsenal in the race for the Premier League title.
Manchester United are a club and team famous for their powers of recovery. If they have a bad season then no doubt the next season they come back all guns blazing. The Red Devils have won the Premier League from much worse positions than their current one in previous campaigns.
If Manchester United can find a good run of form then they could be back in the Premier League title mix very quickly.
Despite Arsenal currently leading the Premier League by five points, there is a sense that the race for the Premier League title is very much open this season. The likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham all believe they also have a shot at the title.
The Premier League table is very tight at the top, with United in eighth place just three points beyond second-placed Chelsea. The title race will no doubt at some point be cut down to just a few teams, but with the league being so open you just know.
A home game with current league leaders Arsenal will be a test of whether United’s form in recent weeks is a sign of the Red Devils getting back to their best. The Gunners are looking like real contenders for the title this season.
The Gunners also have an incredible away record of winning 14 out of their previous 15 games away from the Emirates Stadium. This will be a true test of both teams’ title credentials though.
Sunday’s clash at Old Trafford is vital for both sides. If Manchester United wins then it may plant a psychological seed of doubt in the minds of the Arsenal players. However, if Arsenal wins then it could give the Gunners even confidence, which could be vital in the race for the Premier League crown.
Manchester United heads into this clash as 13/10 favourites, with the visitors 21/10 to clinch victory. The draw is 12/5. The bookmakers seem to think that despite United’s somewhat inconsistent start to the season the Red Devils will still come out on top in this one.
It is hard to argue with that really, as United have looked stronger in recent weeks and the home advantage may just tip the game in their favour. Premier League history has taught us never to write-off United and who am I to argue with history.
Will champions win Sunday’s crucial clash with Arsenal?