Fixture Analysis: February and March

Manchester United

After looking at the January fixtures, we look ahead to the matches to be played in February and March

FEBRUARY

February 3rd – Huddersfield Town (H)
February 10th – Newcastle United (A)
February 17th – FA Cup Fifth Round
February 24th – Chelsea (H)
Champions League Roundup of 16 First Leg

Manchester United play Huddersfield Town three days after facing Tottenham at Wembley. An easy win on paper should be reflected on the pitch. Liverpool take on Spurs.

United then face another newly-promoted team in their next match – Newcastle at St. James’ Park. While this match does not have the appeal of the Keegan-Ferguson days, it promises to be a cracker. United’s previous visit to Newcastle ended in a hugely entertaining 3-3 draw. The North London Derby is scheduled for this matchweek.

The FA Cup will return in the following week for the Fifth Round. United will be hoping to be there and potentially progress to the quarter-finals.

United then welcome defending champions Chelsea to Old Trafford where Mourinho and Conte, presuming both managers are at the clubs come February, will resume their rivalry. This match could potentially be rescheduled as the Carabao Cup final will in all likelihood be played on this weekend. The Manchester Derby was rescheduled in the previous campaign after United progressed to, and eventually won, the final. It was played in the back end of February. The United-Chelsea match could be given the same treatment. Both sets of fans will have already marked their calendars as it promises to be yet another cracker. Arsenal also take on Manchester City in the London V Manchester week.

United will play only three (could be two) Premier League games in February as the Cup competitions take centre stage. The Champions League also returns after the customary winter break. United could play their first leg matches either on 13th-14th February or on 20th-21st February. Mourinho will shuffle his squad and give fringe players a chance to keep his core group fresh and ready for the run-in.

MARCH

March 3rd – Crystal Palace (A)
March 10th – Liverpool (H)
March 17th – West Ham United (A) / FA Cup Quarter Final
March 31st – Swansea (H)
Champions League Round of 16 Leg 2

Manchester United next take on Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on March 3rd. Not the easiest of places to visit, United will be hoping to turn up in London after a less than impressive return of points from the capital in 2016-17. City welcome Chelsea on this matchday.

United then face Liverpool at home in a match that could be season-altering for both teams. Points dropped could be crucial at the end of the season and both managers will go all out for the win. Another fixture to be marked onto the calendar.

United then travel to London this time to face West Ham. But United’s progress to the FA Cup quarter-finals would see this fixture postponed to April’s already packed schedule. United lost to Chelsea at this stage in the Cup and the club will be looking forward to a trip to Wembley.

The international break will interrupt domestic proceedings until they resume a fortnight later.

Coming back from the international break, United face Swansea, another ‘easy’ fixture on paper. United fans will be wary of the Swans after the relegation-threatened team snuck home with a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford last time around. Mourinho will want to better that result and won’t take anything less than a win. Chelsea take on Tottenham and United will want to take advantage of any slip up.

The Champions League round of 16 second legs will also be held on 6th-7th or 13th-14th. United will be hoping that the matches  are after the Liverpool fixture.