After covering the busy festive period last time around, we continue analyzing United’s fixtures, this time covering January 2018.
January 1st – Everton (A)
January 6th – FA CUP
January 13th – Stoke City (H)
January 20th – Burnley (A)
January 27th – FA CUP
January 31st – Tottenham Hotspur (A)
Carabao Cup Semi-Final: Leg 1 and Leg 2.
United will be hoping to enter the New Year somewhere close to the top spot. Mourinho will take being 2-4 points behind leaders. If Ibrahimovic stays at United further than this summer, he will be expected to make his return to the pitch around this time giving United fresher legs going into the second half of the campaign.
Manchester United travel to Everton about 48 hours after the final whistle against Southampton. Fatigue and fitness will be major issue and January. With the opposition of the quality of Everton, United might drop this game. Travelling to the Goodison is never easy and it will be no different this time around. Arsenal play Chelsea at home in the blockbuster New Year’s Day game.
The FA Cup will make its return on the 6th of January as the Premier League takes the backseat following the hectic Christmas and New Year schedule. Mourinho will prioritise the Cup and will be hoping for another deep run.
United could have a potential Carabao Cup semifinal first leg to deal with in midweek should the club reach this stage of the competition.
Next up in the Premier League will be Stoke City at Old Trafford. It will be United’s first home League fixture and nothing less than a win will be accepted. Following Stoke is another ‘winnable’ fixture. Liverpool and Manchester City go head to head in the standout game of the matchweek.
United travel to Burnley in the hope of picking up all three points. While Turf Moor was a difficult place to visit in the season gone by with a number of clubs biting the dust here, United should come away with full points once again.
The two Premier League fixtures will sandwich the Second Leg of the Cabaro Cup. United can secure a trip to Wembley in January. As defending Champions and being Mourinho’s favourite Cup in England, one won’t be surprised to see United in the Final of the League Cup once again.
The FA Cup will interrupt Premier League proceedings once again next weekend. United will be hoping to be there and ensure their place in the Fifth Round.
United end the month with a trip to Wembley. Tottenham away is one of the toughest fixtures of the calendar and United dropped their previous two trips to Tottenham but it won’t be played at White Hart Lane this season as development work will be in full swing. The grade United get for January will in all likelihood be decided by the trip to Wembley. Tottenham have got the better of both Mourinho and United in recent years and both manager and club will be hoping to set the record straight.