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Rampant Manchester United face their first real test as they take on Liverpool

Ashish Thakur
798   //    12 Oct 2017, 00:03 IST

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Lukaku has hit the ground running at Manchester

Widespread claims of Manchester United being early title favourites are fair-minded, but ruthless Jose Mourinho’s men face their first real test of the season in their visit to Anfield.

The Red Devils set a new Premier League record by stretching their unbeaten run against Crystal Palace to 17 league games after defeating the tainted Eagles 4-0 last weekend at Old Trafford.

Mourinho’s men have now scored 21 goals in seven games so far this season, while simultaneously netting seven in just two Champions League matches. £75 million summer signing Romelu Lukaku seems to have fit in perfectly in the famous red shirt, scoring 10 goals in just nine appearances so far, while Marouane Fellaini appears more important than ever after few dreadful initial years at Manchester United, although he has been ruled out for at least a month with a knee injury.

Former Chelsea star Nemanja Matic is making the Reds tick by utilising his commanding presence in the midfield, while the front four continue to score goals for fun. Stopper David De Gea, who had to produce moments of magic to save United’s blushes more often than not in the past few seasons, has hardly had to make a difference which fairly suggests that the United backline has revamped drastically.

The global club fan base remain optimistic that Jose Mourinho’s second-season syndrome will succour them to their first Premier League triumph since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and recent performances do not exhibit otherwise.

However, Jose Mourinho was quick to play down title talks following the home victory against Crystal Palace and his remarks are well justified.

“It’s too early,” the Portuguese coach said. “Seven matches… It’s too early.”

Manchester United’s all seven opponents so far this campaign are currently placed in the bottom half of the league table which evidently suggests that they will face more resilient opponents in the weeks to come.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League
Jose Mourinho's side have been pretty effective so far

The Red Devils now face a trip away to Liverpool this weekend as the players return from their international duties. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has come under severe scrutiny following another winless result away at Newcastle United last weekend and the German coach will be desperate to come out on top against Liverpool’s arch-rivals.

Mourinho and his men will travel to the Merseyside without Paul Pogba and Michael Carrick but the Red Devils are hoping to have Phil Jones back fit again after having recovered from the knock that forced him out of England’s squad for the Three Lions' victorious World Cup qualifying games against Slovenia and Lithuania.

Manchester United face four consecutive away trips in all competitions before current high-flying Spurs visit Old Trafford on October 28 and the football geeks all over the globe will be curious to see if Mourinho’s men can continue their early season form into the latter weeks of the campaign.

However, the Reds are presumed to only get better with Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to return sometime later this season but despite Mourinho’s second season magic wand, the Premier League title race is bound to go down to the wire with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City providing a stir competition to their uplifted neighbours.

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Ashish Thakur
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