5 reasons why Manchester United can still win the Premier League
Despite the Premier League having arguably its strongest line-up of all time, we’re just about at the Christmas period and most observers would probably agree that the race for the league title is all but over. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City have simply swept the board – winning 17 games, drawing 1 and losing zero – and they currently sit 11 points ahead of their nearest rivals, Manchester United.
But is it really the case that the title race is all but over? Are Man City really the champions elect? Well, if we’re honest, it’s likely. But having said that, we’ve seen other clubs in the past race into a huge lead only to blow it later on, and in the Premier League, anything is possible. So, here are five reasons why Manchester United could still win the league, and why the title race isn’t over just yet.
#1 United have turned huge leads around before
Okay, so 1995/96 might be practically ancient history at this point, and only a fool would compare Pep Guardiola – clearly a top-class coach and a man who’s won multiple titles in Spain and Germany – to Kevin Keegan, a man who by his own admission was tactically naive. And of course, nobody is expecting current United manager Jose Mourinho to be able to suck Guardiola – his long-term rival – into any mind games.
But the bottom line is that history shows that in 1995/96, Newcastle United were sweeping the board early on and in January 1996 they held a 12-point lead on their nearest rivals, Alex Ferguson’s Man United. That’s not only a bigger lead than City currently hold, but it was a month later, too, meaning United had even more of a mountain to climb. And climb it they did, as Newcastle eventually imploded while United went from strength to strength, eventually overcoming the lead to win the title by four clear points.
Could it happen again? It seems unlikely right now, but you just never know. United clearly have the potential to go on a run like they did that season – winning thirteen of their final seventeen games – and while City are seemingly stronger than Newcastle were that season, one of the criticisms of the Magpies was that they disrupted their squad balance with a big signing – Tino Asprilla – in January. Sound familiar, with City apparently planning to sign Alexis Sanchez next month? Stranger things have certainly happened in football.