Tis festival season is a good time for serious clubs close gap on Manchester United at the summit of the Barclays premier league.
The Red devils are seven points clear of second placed Manchester city who succumbed to defeat by Sunderland on Boxing Day.
Manchester united has 46 points with Manchester city on 39 points. Chelsea closed gap on second place position with a win at Norwich City with 35 points.
Interestingly united is conceding more goals than any of the top table premier league teams and their defense has been criticised more than ever in recent times.
From 19 Premier League games played so far, the Red Devils have conceded 28 goals and scored 48 goals. The Manchester city have conceded 16 goals and scored 34 times, and perhaps this is a shame to City strikers who boast rich talent and experience amongst them.
Chelsea, in 3rd position have conceded 17 goals and scored 37 goals, and this is very encouraging from the blue’s side as most of their goals come from the midfield. United defense is still shaking though there is high scoring tally from strikers.
At the beginning of the season, many soccer pundits thought Sir Alex Ferguson would purchase a recognisable central defender but opted to bring in a goal machine Robin Van Persie from arch rivals Arsenal.
Well, Robin Van Persie has scored many goals for united but they have conceded a basket of goals in the first half of the season. The seven goal thriller match on the Boxing Day against Newcastle showed the vulnerability of united at the back.
United thrice came from behind to beat Newcastle united at Old Trafford, a game that many thought united had lost.
After Newcastle united’s third goal, scored by former Freiburg striker Papisse Cisse, many thought Newcastle would bring in midfielders or defenders to hold on the ball and neutralise Manchester united attack.
Surprisingly, Newcastle manager Allan Pardew opted to throw in attackers who kept running forward like headless chicken.
Newcastle gave away gap for united midfielders and strikers to run forward and exert pressure on a seemingly tired defense that eventually conceded easy goals.
However, there is still chance for teams to close gap on united especially with tricky ties coming up in the Barclays premier league. Manchester united, host silent killers in West Brom this weekend and travel away to Wigan on a New Year’s Eve.
There will be pretty of goals from the match between the inform West Brom and Manchester united as both teams have great attacking potential. The winner will emerge from the team that will attack and defend better than the other.
West Brom play an offensive game and does not concede too many. They have conceded fewer goals than united.
Meanwhile, Italian manager Roberto Mancini has remained tight lipped on the citizens’ inconsistence in form this season. The English champions were last month eliminated from all European competitions after they finished bottom of the group of death. Manchester city will be travelling away to Norwich city this weekend hoping to avoid an upset inflicted by middle table side Sunderland.
Norwich beat Manchester united in the Barclays premier league fixture in November and will be looking to register another memorable win over City.
Chelsea will visit a tricky and in form Everton side on Sunday hoping to keep momentum on the top two teams from Manchester.