After covering October and November last time around, we take a look at the mother of all months – December. United and rivals will be looking to consolidate their positions at the top of the table in the busy festive season.
December 2nd – Arsenal (A)
December 5th/6th – Champions League
December 9th – Manchester City (H)
December 12th – Bournemouth (H)
December 16th – West Brom (A)
December 23rd – Leicester City (A)
December 26th – Burnley (H)
December 30th – Southampton (H)
United play a tiring 8 matches in December 2017. The month begins with the trip to the Emirates Stadium. Mourinho and Arsenal will renew their rivalry as the clubs renew theirs. United’s last two visits to Arsenal resulted in a combined 5-0 defeat. Moreover, United have won just one game in their last 5 against the Gunners. What a way to begin December!
United have another Champions League fixture to navigate before the Manchester Derby. If United seal top spot in the group before this match, Mourinho could be tempted to field fringe players and rest players for the Derby.
The biggest match of the Season – Manchester Derby at Old Trafford. Pep V Jose. Red V Blue. Manchester V Manchester. The two teams could be close in terms of points and league position in the League heading into the fixture. There could be much more than bragging rights on offer. The Merseyside Derby also takes place on the same matchweek giving United the chance to potentially pull away from its two biggest rivals.
City-United is United’s last fixture against a Top 6 rival before the half way mark of the campaign. The rest of December is pretty straightforward with United’s biggest opponents being fatigue.
United play Bournemouth on December 12th. United should end up on top but it is another midweek fixture to contend with for Mourinho’s men. The games are coming up quick and fast at this point and there is little to no time for the squad for preparation.
Next up is West Brom at the Hawthorns. Another potentially tricky matchup given the tendency of Pulis’ sides to set up defensively. Expect another hard fought victory but don’t be surprised at dropped points. Manchester City take on Tottenham Hotspur in another exciting Premier League fixture.
United then play the Foxes on the day before Christmas’ Eve. Away at the King Power especially around this time is not going to be easy but the squad is will get things done. Liverpool take on Arsenal giving United another chance to take advantage of rivals facing each other.
United have another Boxing Day fixture at home. And with Burnley in town expect United’s strong run in these fixtures continue. With just two days of preparation available, fatigue will be United’s biggest threat.
United finish the calendar year by welcoming the Saints. Jose and Co. will be looking to end the year on a high.
While United face Arsenal and City at the start of the month, the rest of the festive period looks pretty straightforward on paper. The club will be looking that remains the case on the pitch and come out of one of the season’s toughest months with maximum points.