After an excellent 4-2 win over Watford at Vicarage Road in midweek, Manchester United embark on a vitally important fortnight of domestic action that will be an acid test to determine whether the club can put forward a long-lasting Premier League title challenge.
A trip to the Emirates Stadium to face an in-form Arsenal this Saturday will be a test for Jose Mourinho’s men, before a blockbuster clash with fierce rivals and division leaders Manchester City awaits the following weekend.
Those checking odds at Sportingbet Mobile Betting 2018 will see that Pep Guardiola’s men are returning short odds of 1/10 to be crowned English champions this year, but United can stake their claim with consecutive positive results.
Arsenal certainly have looked much-improved in recent weeks and themselves have ambitions of pushing forward towards the table’s summit.
However, with Mourinho’s excellent personal record against Gunners nemesis Arsene Wenger and United on a roll, victory in North London for the Red Devils would raise eyebrow across the country.
A home game against CSKA Moscow in midweek will surely see the Old Trafford boss shuffle his pack and save some of his critical players for the Manchester derby five days later.
Although at home against City, United will face the dominant force of English football currently, who are unbeaten and scoring goals for fun.
However, Guardiola’s men have rode their luck to some degree in recent weeks and not been as convincing as in the earlier parts of the campaign.
United currently trail City by eight points and as such anything other than victory at Old Trafford would mean that Mourinho’s side will have to hope for a considerable wobble from the Premier League leaders to make up ground.
Inflicting the visitors’ first defeat of the campaign would also be a psychological boost for the Red Devils and could bring City down a level or two in the process.
There is no doubting that United are a much-improved side on the pitch this season and Mourinho has instilled an enhanced mental belief and toughness in the players.
A Premier League title challenge was expected ahead of the campaign starting and all the ingredients are in place for the Red Devils to be there or thereabouts come next May.
However, with City only dropping two points in their first 14 games, beating them at Old Trafford almost seems like a pre-requisite if United are to keep pace with the current leaders and be in the hunt for silverware come the business end of the campaign.