6 reasons why Manchester United will finish 6th
"Nothing is certain but death, taxes and Manchester United at sixth!" - Why United will live up to all the trolls and finish sixth.
With the failure to beat Bournemouth on the 4th of March, Manchester United cemented a curiously unique and undesirable record for themselves – they had spent more days (138 at the time) in 6th place in the Premier League this season than any other club in any other position.
Since United first occupied 6th place in November, a lot has happened around the world – Donald Trump was elected, inaugurated and took office as President of United States; Liverpool's title odds fell from 4/1 to 55/1; Roger Federer won his 18th grand slam title.
But the Red Devils, true to themselves, has remained steadfast in 6th position. It is not a position that looks a great deal likely to change either; United has all the poise and appearance of being the 6th best team in the league behind Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Despite a swing either way being a possibility (Arsenal are just one point ahead, while Everton are just five points behind), here are 6 reasons why Manchester United will finish 6th this season:
#1 Profligacy in front of goal and home draws
26 games into the season, United's home record reads six games won, one game lost (against Manchester City) and an incredible seven matches drawn. While draws against Arsenal and Liverpool are excusable, points dropped against Stoke, Burnley, West Ham, Hull and Bournemouth have proved costly and sum up the club’s season succinctly.
All these matches have ended with a 0-0 or 1-1 scoreline, and the recurring theme has been a United side dominating the game, playing the opposition off the pitch; only for their profligacy in front of goal to cost them dearly. In these five matches, United recorded a total of 115 shots, of which 41 were on target.
It is scarcely believable that just three of those ended up in the back of the net – that is a success ratio which is simply unacceptable at this level.
With home matches against West Brom, Swansea City and Crystal Palace in the horizon, United fans would hope that their team would not drop nine points in those three relatively easy fixtures. Swansea and Crystal Palace will be desperate for a share of the spoils to edge out of their relegation battle, and Tony Pulis will give United a torrid time again at the Theater of Dreams.
Even a single point dropped in any of these fixtures might be one slip up too many for United.