Manchester United will head into next month eager to continue their pursuit of silverware this season.
The Red Devils end January with two domestic cup ties, before embarking on a hectic month that features crucial fixtures in three competitions.
Their schedule includes the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest, and a two-legged Europa League play-off tie against Barcelona.
However, while manager Erik ten Hag would undoubtedly love to lift a trophy in his debut season, qualifying for the Champions League is more important to the club’s long-term future.
United’s 3-2 defeat at Arsenal over the weekend probably ended their hopes of winning the Premier League title, but a top-four finish is still well within their grasp.
The latest betting odds soccer prices rate United as the team most likely to finish third this season and that would represent a job well done by Ten Hag and the team.
With that in mind, we take a closer look at United’s Premier League fixtures in February, starting with a game against a side that can be tricky opponents.
Crystal Palace (H) – February 4
Man United visited Palace in the middle of January and were left frustrated as the home side claimed a 1-1 draw courtesy of a stoppage time equaliser.
Ten Hag’s side dominated possession during the game, but were left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal as Michael Olise smashed home a stunning free kick.
United have historically had the upper hand over Palace, although the London outfit have become a bit of a bogey team over the past few seasons.
However, with home advantage to help them, United are strongly fancied to boost their top four hopes with a hard-fought victory at Old Trafford.
Prediction: Man United 2-0 Crystal Palace.
Leeds United (H) – February 8
Leeds United head to Manchester on February 8 for the first of two meetings that are guaranteed to be high-octane affairs.
There is generally no love lost between these two sides and that will likely be accentuated with the fiery Jesse Marsch in charge of the visitors.
Leeds head into February just one point above the relegation zone, although they do have a game in hand on the teams around them.
March’s side have won just one of their first nine league games on the road this season and the Red Devils look a good bet to add to their woes in this one.
Prediction: Man United 3-1 Leeds United.
Leeds United (A) – February 12
Leeds will likely be a different proposition at Elland Road and this will probably be the toughest league test the Red Devils face in February.
However, United are unbeaten in their last five league and cup matches at Leeds and will fancy their chances of enhancing that record on their next visit.
They triumphed 4-2 in the corresponding fixture last February, with Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Anthony Elanga getting on the scoresheet.
While Leeds are expected to put up a tougher fight this time around, Ten Hag’s side should have enough about them to secure a narrow victory.
Prediction: Leeds United 1-2 Manchester United.
Leicester City (H) – February 19
Leicester City have been one of the biggest underachievers in the Premier League this season, but it would be foolish to underestimate their chances of upsetting the odds at Old Trafford.
The Foxes are firmly embroiled in the relegation battle, leaving manager Brendan Rodgers facing an uncertain future at the King Power Stadium.
However, his team showed plenty of spirit in their recent 2-2 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion and they could prove troublesome to United.
Leicester are unbeaten in their last two league visits to Old Trafford and can be expected to provide a stern test of United’s top four credentials.
Prediction: Man United 2-1 Leicester City.
Brentford (H) – February 26
While the Foxes have struggled to live up to expectations this term, it would be fair to say that Brentford have done the opposite.
Manager Thomas Frank has assembled a squad that is greater than the sum of its parts and they are in contention to bag a European qualification spot at the end of the season.
United will head into this game gunning for revenge after suffering a dismal 4-0 defeat against the Bees in the reverse fixture.
Frank’s side are guaranteed to put up a fight in this game, but we expect United to end February on a positive note.
Prediction: Man United 1-0 Brentford.
The Final Word
A 15-point haul in February is achievable for the Red Devils if they can maintain their form during a busy period.
The trip to Leeds on February 12 is the trickiest test, but we fancy United will emerge unscathed from their next five Premier League games.