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Why Manchester United cannot afford to drop points against Sheffield United

Manchester United will travel to Sheffield United on Thursday
Manchester United will travel to Sheffield United on Thursday
ANALYST
Modified 17 Dec 2020, 14:08 IST
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The unpredictability of the current season of the Premier League has made the title race more interesting. Of course, Liverpool are firm favourites following Wednesday’s win over Tottenham Hotspur but the league is still very open.

The difference between Liverpool, who are top of the table, and Wolverhampton Wanderers, who are 10th, is just eight points.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer summed it up perfectly when he said whichever side manages to be consistent will be crowned champions.

The Norwegian manager told Sky Sports ahead of Manchester United's game against Sheffield United.

"I think this season is going to be very unpredictable and up and down. Whoever finds the consistency and the energy have a better chance than in the last few seasons because there's been a few runaway teams.”

Unfortunately though, ‘consistency’ is not a word that the 47-year-old and his Manchester United side are familiar with.

A win puts Manchester United in title race

Manchester United have the chance to get back in the title race if they beat Sheffield United on Thursday evening.

On paper, this should be an easy game for the Red Devils, but they’ve shown countlessly that consistency is not a part of their toolkit.

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Sheffield United are currently one of the worst teams in Europe, having failed to win any of their 12 league games this season. Chris Wilder’s side boasts a single point and currently sit bottom of the Premier League table.

Even worse, the Blades have lost each of their last seven games, conceding a whopping 14 goals in the process. This is the kind of opponent that any elite side will relish facing.

However, as it stands, we do not know which Manchester United side will turn up on Thursday. The Red Devils haven’t had the most impressive of starts to the season but are somehow still in the title race.

Should they beat Sheffield United, Solskjaer’s side will move up to sixth on the Premier League table and just five points behind leaders, Liverpool.

Considering that Manchester United have a game in hand against Burnley, they could move to second place if they win that one too.

Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Manchester United overcome their inconsistencies?

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In some ways, the thought of Manchester United being title contenders is almost impossible. However, the unpredictability of the current campaign means it is very possible.

All they need to do is maintain some level of consistency over the next few weeks. The Red Devils have a packed fixture list coming up as they prepare to play six games in 15 days, starting with Sheffield United.

Manchester United cannot afford to drop points against the Blades. Having already been relegated to the Europa League, they now have a chance to mount a title challenge.

In a week where almost all their rivals dropped points, Manchester United have the opportunity to finally mount a title charge if they can pick three points against the Blades.

Solskjaer said in his pre-game press conference (via Sky Sports):

“I'd be disappointed if the players didn't think we can put a challenge up because at the moment anything goes in the league.”
Published 17 Dec 2020, 14:08 IST
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