• IP addresses are NOT logged in this forum so there's no point asking. Members are encouraged to install GOM or HOLA or TUNNELBEAR for an added layer of protection.

    The SEX forum is HERE so please stop asking.

Red Devils 2017-2018


Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United post record-breaking financial figures
topping half a billion in revenue for second consecutive year

[FONT=&amp]United last year became the first British club to break the half-billion mark and have improved on that position, with revenue rising from £515.3m to £581.2m

Manchester United have posted record-breaking revenues for the second consecutive year Getty
[FONT=&amp][FONT=&amp]Manchester United have earned more than half a billion pounds for the second successive year, with a record-breaking revenue of £581.2million.
[FONT=&amp]While Jose Mourinho's men stuttered home sixth in the Premier League and went without Champions League football, the money-making machine was still in full flow last season.
[FONT=&amp]United last year became the first British club to break the half-billion mark and have improved on that position, with revenue rising from £515.3m to £581.2m for the year ending 30 June 2017.[/FONT]

[FONT=&amp]The club - who in January returned the top of the Deloitte Football Money League for the first time since 2005 - achieved a record operating profit of £80.8m and record earnings of £199.8m before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation.
[FONT=&amp]United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said: "We concluded a successful 2016/17 season with a total of three trophies and a return to Champions League football.[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]"The year saw us set record revenues of over £581m and achieve a record EBITDA of £199.8m.[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]"We are pleased with the investment in our squad and look forward to an exciting season."[/FONT]
United are expecting to post a revenue of between £575m and £585m for the year ending June 30, 2018.

Woodward is delighted with the progress the club have made on and off the pitch (Getty)
The accounts show wages increased by £31.3m to £263.5m in the previous financial year as Mourinho's appointment was followed by the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan - but in terms of percentage of revenue it broadly remains the same.
[FONT=&amp]Retail revenue increased by £6.7m thanks in part to the fact the full year of their agreement with Adidas came into account along with growth in the Megastore.[/FONT]
United's net debt decreased by £47.8m to £213.1m over the year.[/FONT]

Last edited:


Alfrescian (Inf)
Away to Saints, don't think it's another walkover.

Virgil van Dijk could make his first start for Southampton since January, having returned to competitive action as a substitute last weekend. He will be assessed after playing for the U23 side on Monday but Matt Targett is a doubt due to an ankle injury.

Manchester United have no fresh injury worries with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial pushing their claims for a starting role by scoring in the League Cup win over Burton.
Marcos Rojo and Paul Pogba remain out.

Jonathan Pearce: "Every time I climb up to the St Mary's gantry a Saints fan asks me: 'Will we be okay this season?'. I've always reassured him. In all honesty I can't do so right now.
"Any side that has scored just one home goal from free play in 725 minutes, with eight home scoring blanks in nine matches, is bound to find trouble. They have to get Charlie Austin fully fit and firing.
"Manchester United look far too strong for them. They average three goals a game. Romelu Lukaku alone has more than the whole Southampton side. Jose Mourinho looks like the cat that got the cream.
"It's 14 years since a Saints home win in this fixture. I can't see that hoodoo being broken."

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino: "When we play against the biggest team in the world, it allows us to draw some conclusions about how we are.
"This is for me the nice challenge and we have to strive for this.
"Playing against Manchester United is one of the most beautiful things. I will live this opportunity, I will live this game, and now we have to try to enjoy this game."

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: "Southampton is the kind of club that are very stable in the way they play and in the way they see football, the qualities of their players...
"I see the match tomorrow as a very difficult match."

I am expecting United to dominate this game and create lots of chances. Eventually they will find a way through.
Prediction: 0-2



  • Southampton's 24 Premier League defeats in this fixture is their worst record against any opponent.
  • Manchester United have won 16 of the last 22 meetings, losing just three.
  • Saints could equal their longest Premier League winless streak at home against a single opponent. They have gone seven games without victory against Middlesbrough (1998-2004) and Liverpool (1994-2000).

  • Southampton have failed to score in eight of their last 10 Premier League matches at St Mary's, and managed two home wins in 11.
  • However, they have kept three clean sheets in five games this season.
  • An 11th league defeat of the year against United would match their total number of losses in 2016 - with 15 matches still to play.
  • Southampton were winless last season in all 12 matches against sides who finished in the top six (D4, L8).
  • Former Valencia boss Mauricio Pellegrino failed in his four attempts to beat Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid (D2, L2).
Manchester United

  • A fifth victory in six matches would give United a club record-equalling 16 points at this stage of a Premier League campaign.
  • However, the Red Devils have triumphed only once in six away league fixtures (D3, L2).
  • They have scored nine goals in the 80th minute or later - more than the total goal tally of 17 Premier League rivals.
  • A league-high eight players have scored for United this season.
  • Henrikh Mkhitaryan has already been involved in six Premier League goals this season - one more than throughout the previous campaign.
  • Romelu Lukaku could become the first Premier League player to score at St Mary's for three clubs, having already done so for Everton and West Brom.

[TABLE="class: sp-story-body__table, width: 564"]
[TH="colspan: 2, align: left"]SAM's verdict[/TH]
[TABLE="class: sp-story-body__table, width: 564"]
[TH="colspan: 2, align: left"][/TH]
[TD]Most probable score: 1-1[/TD]
[TABLE="class: sp-story-body__table, width: 564"]
[TD]Probability of draw: 26%[/TD]
[TD]Probability of home win: 24%[/TD]
[TD]Probability of away win: 50%[/TD]

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.
Last edited:


Alfrescian (Inf)
Mesut Ozil will snub Arsenal's contract offer
and wants to join Jose Mourinho at Manchester United

The German international has decided to run his contract down which means he will be a free agent next summer

Arsenal contract rebel Mezut Ozil is hoping for a shock move to Manchester United.
It would mean the 28-year-old Gunners midfielder linking up again with Jose Mourinho, his manager during their time together at Real Madrid.

The German international has decided to run his contract down which means he will be a free agent next summer.
Emirates team-mate Alexis Sanchez who is in an identical contract situation has also been linked with a switch to Old Trafford but the Chilean star is more likely to end up at neighbours Manchester City possibly in the January transfer window.
But Sunday Mirror Sport can reveal that Ozils advisors have put out feelers over a potential move to Manchester United and the feedback has been encouraging.

Mourinho is a big fan of the talented playmaker and would encourage the Old Trafford hierarchy to make a move for a player who wont cost a fee.

That would then free up the cash to meet the contract demands of the German who has been asking Arsenal to cough up around £250,000-a-week.
Even though United have made a bright start to the season and look likely Premier League title contenders Mourinho is always planning for the longer term future.

It's why he is considering adding Ozil to his attacking armoury while still holding an interest in Atletico Madrids brilliant French star Antoine Griezmann. Ozil who is also wanted by Inter Milan, fancies staying in England and moving to a club which has a realistic chance of winning major trophies.

It would be a blow to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger seeing another major star leave for one of the North London clubs rivals.
Robin van Persie left Arsenal for Manchester United five years ago in a £25million deal and ended up with a title winners medal in his first season. Ozil would love to take the same route with a similar outcome.
Last edited:


Alfrescian (Inf)
Fair comment and analysis over last one away to Saints:

Southampton vs Manchester United:
Five things we learned from the visitors' 1-0 win on the south coast

[FONT=&amp]Romelu Lukaku's first-half strike proved to be the difference at St Mary's[/FONT]


Romelu Lukaku celebrates what turned out to be the winning goaManchester United secured their fifth league win of the season on Saturday afternoon, beating Southampton 1-0.

In a closely-contested affair at St Mary's, Romelu Lukaku's first-half goal clinched victory as Jose Mourinho's men retained their place at the top of the table alongside rivals City. Southampton enjoyed a number of close chances in the second half but failed to find a deserved equaliser.

Here's five things we learned:

Mourinho remains the only man Martial must convince

Anthony Martial was magical in United’s midweek win against Burton in the EFL Cup. It was his movement and quick feet, dancing his way through the visiting defence, which set Jesse Lingard up for United's third while his assertive and composed finish from close range extended the home side's lead to four goals. In all, it was a dazzling display of football which alluded to a rediscovered sense of purpose and confidence.

Martial must convince Mourinho of his worth in the PL (Getty)

But there seems to be one man who remains unconvinced. Despite fans’ pleas to field both Martial and Marcus Rashford, Mourinho once again overlooked the Frenchman, opting to leave him on the bench. It’s true: Martial’s impressive midweek performance came against a side currently sat in 19th of the Championship, meaning we can’t jump to any conclusions over the Frenchman. It may well be the case that Mourinho is waiting for the youngster to recreate such a display against one of the Premier League’s bigger sides before he’s given the nod. But until that moment, it looks like he'll have to make do with starting from the bench.

United showing resilience of champions – but how long will this last?
As was the case against Everton last weekend, today’s scoreline fails to fully reflect the nature of the game. Given Southampton’s dominance in the second half, and their plethora of chances in front of goal, United should have ultimately been held to a draw.

Nonetheless, the visitors managed to hold on for all three points. It’s these sort of backs-against-the-wall victories which often make the difference between league champions and also-rans, and United will undoubtedly feel buoyed by the result. But despite taking all three points at St Mary’s, there’s an elephant in the room which is growing increasingly harder to ignore. If United are only capable of scraping past sides such as Southampton, how will they ultimately fare against their top-six rivals. In truth, Mourinho’s men have enjoyed a relatively soft start to the campaign. Their biggest tests are yet to come and victories such as these today could be propagating a false sense of security at the club.

Southampton fail to take their chances

With six goals to his name in the league so far this season, Lukaku has found the back of the net on two more occasions than the whole of Southampton’s side. It’s a damning statistic that points to the home side's blunted attack, which once again failed to deliver. From Dusan Tadic and Shane Long to Oriol Romeu, Southampton enjoyed their fair share of chances, especially in the second half, but they were incapable of finding that all-important equaliser. The January window can't come soon enough when the club should be looking to recruit a reliable goalscorer.

Long was unable to find an equaliser (Getty)

Young offers food for thought
That United are lacking a go-to left-back is common knowledge, with Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young all being handed their chance to make a claim for the spot. But against Southampton today, 32-year-old Young certainly offered Mourinho food for thought. It was his delicious cross, coming after some neat footwork, that set Lukaku up for his goal while the defensive aspects of his game - which were always going to face scrutiny - were surprisingly sound. On those occasions where he lost Tadic, he did well to recover and put in a number of important blocks inside United’s final third. He’s still far from what Mourinho wants and needs, and at 32 his shelf life is no doubt coming to an end, but he could prove to be a quick fix before the January transfer window opens.

Young in action for United (AFP)

United need to take hardline approach over Lukaku chant

United fans sing racist Lukaku song despite him asking them not to

And so a small minority of United’s fans once again reared their ugly heads after signing that Romelu Lukaku chant - and appearing seemingy proud to do so. Ignoring pleas not to do so, this group of supporters proceeded to sing the song after the forward had put United ahead in the 20th minute. To make it worst, these fans were then heard gleefully boosting about such insubordination: "We're Man United, we'll sing what we want."

After both the FA and Kick It Out contacted the club calling for something to be done, United must now make sure they take a hardline approach against those fans who are embarrassingly unaware that any assumption about someone made solely on the basis of that person’s race - regardless of it being a ‘positive’ assumption - is racist. United need to take this seriously and act as quickly as possible.

Last edited:


Alfrescian (Inf)
CSKA vs Manchester United: 5 things we learned from the visitors' storming Champions League victory
A Romelu Lukaku brace, Anthony Martial penalty and Henrikh Mkhitaryan strike sealed the deal for the visitors who dominated proceedings from the first to the last whistle


Manchester United ran riot against CSKA Moscow in Wednesday night's Champions League clash, firing four past the Russian side to see out a stylish victory at the VEB Arena.

A Romelu Lukaku brace, Anthony Martial penalty and Henrikh Mkhitaryan strike sealed the deal for the visitors who dominated proceedings from the first to the last whistle.

CSKA Moscow pulled one back in the dying minutes of the game but it came as a mere consolation goal.

Here's five things we learned:

Rotation points to United squad strength
Jose Mourinho opted to field a strong-looking starting XI for tonight’s clash, with the usual suspects back in the mix to face the Russian hosts. There were, though, a few tweaks here and there to the line-up which ultimately did little to lower the quality on offer. Indeed, Ander Herrera made his return to the side, having only made three league starts this season, while Martial was brought back into the fray.

That Mourinho is able to bring players of their quality into contention points to the depth and strength of United’s squad this season. With the long winter months fast approaching, this strength will undoubtedly prove vital.

United rediscovering their European swagger
The last time United look this dominant and assertive in Europe was during Sir Alex Ferguson’s tenure. After his retirement, the Manchester club struggled in Europe’s premium competition, lacking the confidence and self-belief required to sweep aside the sort of teams they would traditionally cruise past.

Romelu Lukaku celebrates his opener (Getty)
But under Mourinho the side have rediscovered their swagger. Against CSKA Moscow they dominated proceedings from the off, constantly keeping the ball moving against a team that were reduced to chasing shadows.

With Lukaku at his instinctive best and Martial riding a wave of confidence, United were a delight to watch in the home side’s final third while Herrera more than stepped up to the mark on his return to the starting XI. In all, it was another storming European night which continues to bode well for Mourinho’s men.

CSKA Moscow defence leaves little to be desired
CSKA Moscow have now failed to keep a clean sheet in the Champions League for the 30th consecutive match while goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev has gone 41 straight games without a shutout in the competition. With a combined age of 73, centre-backs Vasili Berezutski and Sergei Ignashevich looked well past their shelf life against United’s power and pace this evening.

Indeed, it was Berezutski’s farcical failed clearance which handed Lukaku his second while Ignashevich failed to assert himself in the air for the forward’s first, coming off second better in their aerial challenge for the ball.

CSKA Moscow's defence was found wanting (Getty)
It was a generally limp and lifeless defensive display all round, with Mkhitaryan and Martial handed far too much space and time in the home side’s final third. Players were seen jogging back, too, showing next to no desire to make it back to help out an already shaky defence. It was a stellar performance from United but they were certainly helped by the egregious abuses of CSKA Moscow’s backline.

David de Gea reminds United of his worth
It was a generally quiet night for the United defence who spent the vast majority of the evening camped out inside their opponent’s half. But on those rare occasions when CSKA Moscow tested the visiting defence, De Gea was on hand to deny the home side.

Despite spending much of the game watching from afar, the Spaniard showcased razor-sharp instincts to block CSKA’s shots on goal. In the early stages of the game he got down well to his right to push away a low-driven shot from Dzagoev which had set a course for the bottom left-hand corner.

Just under 10 minutes before the break, he reacted with lightning speed to tip Vitinho’s close-range strike over the bar. Asides from the spectacular, he stuck to the basics throughout the match and was a constant source of reliability at the back for United. CSKA's goal will come as a disappointment for him but in all it was a performance which he should be proud of.

Lindelof continues his development
"In the future, Lindelof is going to have more opportunities," Mourinho said before this game. "He will improve step by step like the good player he is." Indeed, tonight was certainly a step forward for the defender who looked far more composed and assured than he did in his last outing against Basel.

Lindelof still has a lot to learn though (Getty)
Adjusting to life at United is no easy feat and there's no doubt Lindelof still has a lot to learn but here was another opportunity for him to cut his teeth. His decision-making was better while his positioning looked tighter and disciplined.

Of course, this isn't to shower the 23-year-old with praise. Against a side like CSKA Moscow, who were dismal throughout, Lindelof was never going to be pushed outside of his comfort zone. The late goal with have undoubtedly put a downer on his evening but there is still plenty of positives to take from the match.


Man Utd boss Mourinho can't ignore bargain basement Roberto opportunity

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is lining up a serious push for Barcelona midfielder Sergi Roberto.

Roberto's minders were in contact with Premier League teams over the summer, though ultimately chose to remain at the Nou Camp. Along with United, the midfielder also attracted interest from Manchester City and Chelsea.

Mourinho, reports Don Balon, is ready to revive his interest in Roberto for January.

Key to the move is the midfielder's buyout clause, which at €40m is a bargain given today's market rates.

Mourinho can also tempt Roberto away from Barca with a guarantee of regular football and a huge increase on his current salary.

Read more at http://www.tribalfootball.com/artic...berto-opportunity-4201258#d83cSRwTSSWGJE6J.99

If it's true, he would make a wonderful signing. Been watching him for a long time. Very good technique and vision. We need someone other than Pogba to pull the strings in the middle.


Alfrescian (Inf)
How tonight? Fancy an OT victory over the londoners?

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has joined long-term absentees Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the sidelines.

Phil Jones, Antonio Valencia, Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial will all be assessed.

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke is out for at least six weeks because of knee ligament damage.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is injured, James Tomkins is ill and Timothy Fosu-Mensah is ineligible to face his parent club.

Freddie Ladapo, 24, is Palace's only fit striker and could make his competitive debut for the club.

Guy Mowbray: "Manchester United have travelled to Moscow and back this week, but they'd still be expected to beat Palace if they had been to the moon.

"By how many doesn't matter. With Chelsea playing Manchester City and one or both to drop points, all Jose Mourinho will worry about is winning.

"There are, of course, a multitude of things to concern Roy Hodgson.

"Would just scoring a goal and a narrow defeat represent progress for Palace? Possibly, but hard to gauge against a team that may be Europe-weary.

"All that matters are points - and patience until they get some. It may be a little while longer yet."

Twitter: @Guymowbray

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: "The mentality is very important because we played Wednesday night and we arrive in Manchester at 4am, so home 5am.

"We have to play against everybody at home and away, and when I look to the fixtures I only look to the period of time we have to recover from match to match.

"It's the only thing that concerns me and makes me think. The opponent is not a problem. We have to play against everyone."

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson: "There's never a good time to play Manchester United.

"We are here to play against the big teams and I guess Jose will say it is not ideal to be playing on a Saturday after travelling back from Russia, but they have a strong squad."


Manchester United are flying at the moment, especially striker Romelu Lukaku, who just keeps on scoring.

Roy Hodgson will have had another week to work with his Palace players on denying the opposition space, but I don't see them keeping United and Lukaku out.

Prediction: 3-0

Lawro's full predictions v Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett
Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round's Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game

Manchester United have never lost a Premier League game against Crystal Palace in 16 previous meetings (W13, D3).
Crystal Palace's last win over United was a 2-1 League Cup quarter-final triumph at Old Trafford in November 2011.

The Eagles have not won a league game at Old Trafford since a 2-1 success in December 1989. Mark Bright scored both goals that day.

Manchester United
A United win will equal their record tally of 19 points after the opening seven Premier League matches, set in 1999 and again in 2011.

Jose Mourinho's side have won all three home league matches this campaign by an aggregate score of 10-0.
United have kept a league-high five clean sheets.

Romelu Lukaku has scored six goals in his first six league appearances for United. Andrew Cole holds the club record of seven goals in his first seven Premier League matches.
Lukaku has scored 19 goals in his last 21 league games - one goal more than Crystal Palace in the same number of matches.

Five of United's league goals have been scored by substitutes, which is the most in the division.

Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace are the first side in England's top four divisions to lose their first six games of the season without scoring.
The all-time Football League record for failing to score at the start of a season is eight games, held by Halifax in 1990-91.
The last Premier League side to lose their opening six games was Portsmouth in 2009-10 - they finished that season bottom of the table.
Leicester, in 1984, are the last team to lose their first six top-flight matches and stay up.
The Eagles have lost nine of their last 10 league matches, failing to score in each defeat.
Palace's last league goal was scored by Patrick van Aanholt in the final minute of a 4-0 home win against Hull on 14 May.

SAM's verdict
Most probable score: 2-0 Probability of draw: 11%
Probability of home win: 84% Probability of away win: 5%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.



red amoeba

Alfrescian (Inf)
So far Man U has been meeting relatively easy opponents whereas man c has met and ran over Liverpool. Today matchup represent the best opportunity for Man U to run amok against hapless crystal palace to rake up points and goals as the best outcome will be for Chelsea to draw man c.

Let’s do a 8-0. There is no Benteke and fosu.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Marcus Rashford rampant and Marouane Fellaini reaching hero status
as Manchester United beat Crystal Palace


Fellaini scored twice as Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku also chipped in

United went ahead of City with the win Getty
It was business as usual for Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon as you have come to expect from this Jose Mourinho team and they dominated bottom-of-the-league Crystal Palace.

Juan Mata opened the scoring before two Marouane Fellaini goals either side of half-time saw United well clear. Romelu Lukaku eventually got his goal late on to make sure of the win.

Here are five things we learned from United’s win…

Somewhere Moyes is laughing
Maybe that now infamous meme was wrong and he did, in fact, know what he was doing all along? No one will have enjoyed Manchester United’s victory over Crystal Palace more than David Moyes. Both Mata and Fellaini have become key parts of Mourinho’s squad and both were on the scoresheet on Saturday.

Mata’s quality has never been doubted but Fellaini looks to finally have also finally been accepted by United fans after so long being the symbol of everything that was wrong with the Moyes era at Old Trafford. The fact he is keeping last season’s player of the year Ander Herrera out of the team in Paul Pogba’s absence tells you all you need to know about what Mourinho thinks of the Belgian – and he repaid that with two goals.

Fellaini starred for United in the victory (Getty)
Mission impossible?
What can Roy Hodgson do? He inherited a squad with no wins, no points, no confidence and no goals, and who does he have to play in three of his first four games? Manchester City, United and, next, Chelsea.

They are already setting the Premier League record for the worst start ever and it looks like by the time it ends it will be a record that may take a while to be beaten. Is it already too late for Palace to survive? Forget Mission Impossible, if they stay in the Premier League it will be more like the Great Escape.

Hodgson could be lost for answers already (Getty)
Rashford roars
Recently it’s been a long afternoon for whoever has played right-back against Manchester United, not least because they have to face Marcus Rashford for 60-plus minutes before a fresh-legged Anthony Martial enters the fray. But on Saturday it was especially long for Joel Ward after the Englishman tore him apart from as early as the third minute when he left the Palace man for dead before laying on Juan Mata’s opener.

The Englishman looks to have finally settled on the left of that front three with Mourinho admiring his industrious workrate over Martial’s attacking nous. Even Martial’s stunning midweek performance in the Champions League wasn’t enough to dislodge Rashford from this team. His free kick for Fellaini’s second was a thing of beauty.

Rashford was lethal down the left (Getty)
Defence is key
For all the goals Manchester United have scored so far this season, you can bet Mourinho will be just as, if not more, happy with the fact his side are yet to concede a Premier League goal at home, with the only goal having gone against them this season being a last-minute consolatory one from Burton Albion in the League Cup.

The boss will be particularly pleased given that he changed up his centre backs for the first time this season by bringing in Chris Smalling alongside Phil Jones with Eric Bailly rested for the afternoon. There was just the one heart-in-mouth moment when the Englishmen seemed to sandwich Jeffrey Schlupp between them to give away a penalty but Mike Dean waved it away.

Smalling did well in his first Premier League start of the season (Getty)
Over to you, Pep
It seems like this season we will finally get the Pep vs Jose II – the sequel to their La Liga battles with Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. We were expecting it last season when both sides played each other with 100 per cent records after three games but both quickly fell away as Chelsea romped home.

However this season both look like the real deal and although Chelsea and Spurs are looking dangerous too, you get the feeling that something drastic would have to happen for the title not to return to Manchester… but which part of Manchester


Alfrescian (Inf)
So far Man U has been meeting relatively easy opponents whereas man c has met and ran over Liverpool. ....best opportunity for Man U to run amok against hapless crystal palace to rake up points and goals as the best outcome will be for Chelsea to draw man c..
Don't disagree with the former, and we shdn't be carried away. Alas, Chelskis couldn't hold up blue side of Manchester o_O
So table's #2 is now on GD, without the consolation of alphabetical order:wink:

Interesting analysis here, saying our best is yet to be:


We're about to learn how good Jose Mourinho's Manchester United really are
We know they have improved but Mourinho's United are yet to meet and beat a fellow top club

Manchester United's season starts now. That’s a little inconvenient, given the two-week wait for the international break to end, but a look at Jose Mourinho's diary shows why we may learn more about his side over the next month than we have in the last two.

That is not to say that United have not impressed so far. They have. The stodgy, stultifying play and the below-per performances that have defined the post-Sir Alex Ferguson finally appear to be receding from view. Mourinho’s team is powerful and pragmatic - rarely enthralling but usually effective.

19 points is the most that United have ever taken from their opening seven Premier League games and they have only reached it twice before - in 1999, off the back of the Treble, and in 2011, after they equalled Liverpool’s record of 19 top-flight league titles. The omens are good.

The only nagging doubt, especially after Manchester City’s statement win at Stamford Bridge, is that United are yet to meet a fellow top side. The fixture computer’s algorithms were kind to them when compiling the first few weeks of the new season and several of their opponents so far have been among the division’s most unimpressive teams.

Swansea City and Everton both look impotent, while Palace’s problems at both ends are well-documented. West Ham United were a flaming wreckage of a team when they arrived on the opening weekend and have only shown signs of recovery in recent weeks.

Leicester City are the best side to have come to Old Trafford so far and while they were competitive, United were dominant. It was a far more impressive win than the score line suggested.

Southampton at St Mary’s can frustrate any side, but the high turnover of managerial and playing staff there appears to have finally caught up with the south-coast club, who can no longer consider themselves ‘the best of the rest’. In the one match so far they have not won, the 2-2 draw at Stoke City, they came up against an organised but unspectacular side and were held.

All these fixtures and the 19 points they brought lead up to Anfield, United’s first destination after the international break, where they will meet a flawed Liverpool side. In the reverse fixture last season, Mourinho shut down the contest to come away with a 0-0 and United’s lowest share of Premier League possession since records began.

Would this new-look United do the same? Mourinho has suggested as much on several occasions already this season. “We try to play according to the qualities of our players,” he said earlier this month. “We try to play positive, we try to play good, but we try to win. If one day to win we have to play defensive football, we have to do it.”

A trip to Huddersfield Town follows Anfield and should not prove too challenging, with David Wagner’s Terriers wilting after a strong start, but the testing run of fixtures resumes the week after when Tottenham Hotspur arrive at Old Trafford. A date with Antonio Conte’s reigning champions Chelsea follows on Bonfire Night.

How Mourinho sets his players up in these two games, and whether they come away from this unfavourable run with a favourable set of results, will tell us much about United’s title credentials. Last season, they dropped points in eight of their 10 games against last season’s top five. That, as much as their struggles against lesser sides, scuppered their title and top-four aspirations.

If United’s start has taught us anything, it is that they have overcome their tendency to draw games they should win. Over the next month, they must start to win games they should draw.
Last edited:


Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United to make a move for Mesut Ozil
this January as Arsenal contract talks continue to stall

Exclusive: Jose Mourinho is highly confident of convincing the German to join United based on their previous working relationship at Real Madrid


The German has shown little desire to renew his contract at Arsenal Getty
Manchester United will make a move to sign Arsenal's Mesut Ozilon a free on a Bosman for when his contract ends at the end of the season, The Independent has learned.

Jose Mourinho is highly confident of convincing him to join United based on their previous working relationship at Real Madrid.

The 28-year-old's current deal runs out at the end of the season, and with talks at an impasse as he has continues to show no real willingness to remain at the Emirates beyond this campaign, United are now planning to try and sign him.

Mourinho and Ozil both arrived at Real Madrid together in the summer of 2010, and worked well together, with the Portuguese placing great trust in the playmaker as he quickly realised that Ozil was capable of understanding and executing complex tactical orders. They have remained on good terms since, to the point that Mourinho actually wrote the foreword for the player's recent autobiography.

United also maintain an interest in Alexis Sanchez, who is similarly out of contract at the end of the season, but there is a feeling at Old Trafford that Manchester City are far ahead in the pursuit of his signature.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United have nothing to prove against Liverpool, insists Jose Mourinho

This weekend's showdown at Anfield has been described as Mourinho’s first big test of the season (The Independent Sport)

Jose Mourinho has downplayed Saturday's meeting with Liverpool Getty

Jose Mourinho believes Manchester United have nothing to prove when they take on rivals Liverpool at Anfield this weekend but insisted his side are better equipped for the clash than they were this time last year.

The showdown at Anfield has been described as Mourinho’s first big test of the season, with the side yet to face a top-six rival so far this campaign. Only two of their six wins have come against a side that finished inside the top 10 last season.

But Mourinho has downplayed the clash, arguing his men have nothing to prove against Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Klopp dreamed of coaching Man United claims his mentor

"We have to prove nothing," he told Sky Sports. "We have our objectives for the season, we know where we want to go and how we have to go.

"This is press talk, or pundit talk: 'We have something to prove, [Romelu] Lukaku has to score, we have to win' [is what they say]. One match, one result, one performance. That's not going to change anything.

"You can say, like some people do, we have not played one of the top five teams but last season we did not beat West Ham at home, last season we did not beat Everton at home or Southampton away."

Last year United were held in a goalless draw at Anfield following the conclusion of the October international break. United managed just one shot on goal as Mourinho set up his side to frustrate their Liverpool hosts.

Mourinho's United face a testing run of fixtures (Getty)

But having hit the ground running this season, notching up four 4-0 wins against their Premier League opponents already, United look set to take the game to Liverpool this time round.

"I think we are a better team [than we were]," he said. "I think it would be unfair to say Lukaku and [Nemanja] Matic did not make an impact, we have to admit that and give them what they deserve. But also the team give Matic and Lukaku the conditions to arrive the way they have.

Liverpool and United left counting the cost of international injuries
"Globally we are a better team -- does that mean we are going to be as successful as last season, winning two titles? I don't know. But we are better."

He added: "I like to play against the best teams, I like to play against the best clubs and I like to play at the best stadiums -- the stadiums with more history. At Anfield I've had great moments and I've had bad moments. They have had happiness against me, they have had very sad moments against me.

"It's for three points, not four. Maybe if we were in a moment of the season where it was a duel between two teams it would mean more, but it's not the case. At the same time, in these kinds of matches, every single moment plays a part. We are playing against a good team with very good players."


Alfrescian (Inf)
The BIG one away to scousers. Draw on cards or?

Liverpool v Manchester United

The last Premier League meeting between these sides at Anfield was a tense goalless draw

Liverpool will be without forward Sadio Mane, who faces a six-week absence with a hamstring injury suffered during international duty for Senegal.

Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are expected to be available despite a lengthy journey back from Chile.

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini injured knee ligaments playing for Belgium.

Captain Michael Carrick is doubtful with a calf injury but defender Phil Jones should recover from a knee issue.

Guy Mowbray: "'It's only three points' seems to be Jose Mourinho's mantra, but that won't stop this being hyped as the biggest game around - which, in terms of worldwide interest, it might well be.

"It comes at the same stage as last season's Anfield meeting, which was similarly ramped up but ended up being turgid, with United in full-on shut-up shop mode.

"This HAS to be different, doesn't it?

"This time Mourinho's goal-filled team will surely attack - but perhaps only after a stifling start. Expect Liverpool to go hard for the early goal to open it right up.

"12.30pm starts can be slow burners in terms of atmosphere and action. This shouldn't be."

Twitter: @Guymowbray

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: "When you are in a big club, when you are a big player, when you are a big manager, every game is important.

"You cannot look at some matches as cup finals and other matches differently. It's three points, not four. It's just a three-point match. That's the way I approach it.

"Do I like to go to Anfield? Yes, I love it. Do I like to play against Liverpool? Yes. I like amazing stadiums and the best opponents but the preparation is not different. It's just a match."


  • Liverpool have failed to beat Manchester United in six Premier League games since since a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford in March 2014 (D2, L4).
  • United have won three of their past five league visits to Anfield (D1, L1), keeping clean sheets in the last two games.
  • Liverpool have lost just one of the last 14 home games in all competitions (W8, D5).
  • However, they have only one victory in their last seven league and cup matches (D4, L2).
  • Defeat would leave Liverpool on 12 points from eight Premier League games, the same tally as when Brendan Rodgers was sacked in 2015-16.
  • Jurgen Klopp has only lost once in seven competitive meetings with Jose Mourinho (W3, D3).
  • Philippe Coutinho has registered nine goals and three assists in his last 12 Premier League games.
Manchester United
  • A win on Saturday would give Manchester United a Premier League club record 22 points after eight games.
  • They have kept 17 Premier League clean sheets in 2017, three more than any other side.
  • United have also kept eight clean sheets in their last nine league games.
  • Romelu Lukaku could become the first player to score eight goals in his first eight Premier League games for Manchester United.
  • However, Lukaku has just one goal in his last seven games against Liverpool, failing to register a shot on target in five of those matches.
  • Marcus Rashford has recorded five goals and four assists in his last 10 appearances.
Follow Match of the Day on Instagram for the best photos from the world of football.

SAM's verdict
Most probable score: 1-1 Probability of draw: 28%
Probability of home win: 40% Probability of away win: 32%

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by @ProfIanMcHale at the University of Liverpool that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Liverpool vs Manchester United:
Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp face strategic dilemmas ahead of showdown

Klopp has been pondering a change, while Jose is considering a surprisingly attacking approach


Over the last two weeks, Jurgen Klopp has been using the extra time from the international break to deeply think about whether he should make changes to his Liverpool side - and to what extent. The German has been anxious to figure out what has been going wrong with his team, why a previously free-flowing attack has stopped scoring and started being so undercut by disfunction in a defence that already required work. It's all piling up.

Part of that work, and something that will greatly indicate just how much he is going to change in the longer term, has been preparation for Saturday’s home match against Manchester United.

It really couldn’t have come at a worse time for Liverpool. They so need to alter something to get back to their best form, while United are on supreme form.

There is also the twist that Jose Mourinho's side have so far inverted how these games have usually gone for Klopp. His Liverpool have been so good against the rest of the “big six” because most of those are naturally more attacking and thereby give his side something to react to, more space to rampage into. Mourinho however has generally set his teams up in these games like the 'bottom 14', in the way that has proved so frustrating for the German. United have sat deeper, and thereby forced Klopp’s team to depend on other qualities that they have frankly struggled with it. The 0-0 last October was a nadir, certainly in terms of entertainment.

Then again, some of the murmurs from Carrington suggest Mourinho himself will alter that approach for this weekend, that he won’t get United to sit back.

Some around the club believe that he wants to fully maximise their fine start to the season by building on the confidence derived from so many goals scored - and so many genuinely excellent goals scored - to really go at Liverpool, to go for the win from the off. Adding an edge to all of this is that Mourinho is known to have been privately irritated by some of the praise that Klopp’s approach has got in his two years in England. To beat him at his own game would be as enjoyable for the Portuguese as just beating him. The inherent danger in United playing like that, though, is that it might be playing into Klopp’s hands and giving him exactly what he needs at a tough time. It might give Liverpool the out.

It is also why this fixture represents something of a dilemma for both managers, a game of second-guessing each other beyond the game. They both have a big decision to make, but the success of that decision might then entirely depend on the decision the other one makes.

There is just so much more belief to United now in what they do, so little need for the caution of a year ago.

There is also the further twist that, rather than for once playing into Klopp’s hands, going at Liverpool could be opportune. They won’t have the injured Sadio Mane, so just won’t have anything like the same incision on the break.

Mohamed Salah is as quick but Mourinho knows more than most how frustrating can he be when that pace puts him into a attacking position. He just doesn’t have the forcefulness or thrust of Mane, he doesn’t have those swish, sweeping finishes.

One player who generally does have that forcefulness in front of goal is Daniel Sturridge, although he usually needs an extended run in the team to feel comfortable enough to show it. He didn’t show it in the latest frustrating game in the 1-1 draw away to Newcastle United, leading to a lot of debate over the decision to go with the English striker over Roberto Firmino.

Mane’s injury may now force Klopp to use both regardless, and to change the arrangement of his attack.

Some close to the manager say that, in regards to the wider changes he was considering after the Newcastle game, nothing was off the table. They said he would contemplate changes to the system, maybe even a new formation. It need not go that far to be that far-reaching, though. A simple little variation in the forward line could unlock the attackers anew, get them scoring anew. The natural finisher in Ian Rush certainly thinks they should persist with attacking.

“One thing they are doing is creating chances, it’s just they’re not scoring,” the former Liverpool striker tells The Independent. “It’s bizarre… it’s a big game for Liverpool to show what they can do. The main thing is don’t stop what you’re doing, carry on what you’re doing. Be confident in what you have to do.”

There are some close to the Liverpool training ground who feel the same. They feel any radical change would immediately send out the wrong signal at the start of the game, and maybe even embolden United. It would show Klopp is concerned about them, and that he’s second-guessing himself rather than Mourinho.

It is actually one match where wrong decision could be more costly than indecision. That is the dilemma for both.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Liverpool vs Manchester United: Five of the most memorable meetings
We take a look back at some of the most exciting matches between the two teams, ahead of the Premier League clash between the pair on Saturday


Liverpool host old rivals Manchester United on Saturday in one of the Premier League's most eagerly anticipated games of the season.

United are currently flying, having picked up 19 points so far this season to sit at the top of the table alongside rivals Manchester City.

They have won three of their last five league visits to Anfield and a victory would give Jose Mourinho's side a record 22 points after eight games.

Liverpool are meanwhile desperate to get back to winning ways after an underwhelming 1-1 draw with Newcastle United last time out.

But they will be without star man Sadio Mane after the Senegal forward suffered a hamstring injury during international duty.

Meanwhile, Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrickmay all be ruled out for United.

The scene is set for a potential Premier League classic and here we look back at five of the most memorable meetings between the two clubs.

2/6 Liverpool 5 Manchester United 0, September 19, 1925, Division One
The Reds' biggest home win over United (although they beat their forebears Newton Heath 7-1 in 1895 in a Division Two game). Dick Forshaw scored a hat-trick interspersed with other goals coming from Harry Chambers and Archie Rawlings.

3/6 Liverpool 1 Manchester United 4, December 13, 1969, Division One
Liverpool's heaviest loss at home to their arch-rivals. Ron Yeats' own goal was cancelled out by defender Emlyn Hughes after a barnstorming run forward but Ian Ure, Willie Morgan and Bobby Charlton all scored after the break.

4/6 Liverpool 3 Manchester United 3, January 4, 1994, Premier League
One of the definitive matches of the early Premier League era saw the visitors race into a 3-0 up after just 24 minutes with goals from Steve Bruce, Ryan Giggs and Irwin. Incredibly Liverpool bounced back with Nigel Clough scoring twice before the break setting up a grandstand finish in which defender Neil Ruddock was the unlikely hero.

Liverpool 2 Manchester United 2, May 5 1999, Premier League
United, on their way to a famous treble, took a 2-0 lead inside an hour through Dwight Yorke and Denis Irwin's penalty. However, Jamie Redknapp pulled one back from the spot and, after Irwin was sent off, former Red Devils captain Paul Ince charged into the area to stab home an 89th-minute equaliser.

Liverpool 3 Manchester United 1, March 6 2011, Premier League
Luis Suarez terrorised the United defence and Dirk Kuyt was the man to benefit with a contender for one of the shortest hat-tricks by distance in history. The Holland international's treble, the first by a Liverpool player against United in 21 years, was from a combined distance of six yards. Javier Hernandez's last-minute strike was little consolation.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Liverpool vs Manchester United: Romelu Lukaku misses Paul Pogba, Mohamed Salah's wastefulness and more
The gap between the two sides remains at seven points


Manchester United have David De Gea to thank for a point against Liverpool in a lacklustre draw at Anfield where both Romelu Lukaku and Mohamed Salah were guilty of missing some fantastic opportunities to snatch all three points.

Here are five things we learned at Anfield:

Lukaku is missing Pogba
Romelu Lukaku’s scintillating start to the season appeared little more than a fizzle at Anfield. It took the Belgian 17 minutes to get his first touch and his first sight at goal came in the 43rd minute when one-touch passing with Henrikh Mkhitaryan set up space to shoot but Simon Mignolet saved well.

Lukaku, who has already scored seven league goals this season, cut a frustrated figure and was often left isolated with United slow to get up the pitch.

Lukaku was guilty of missing a great chance

Salah needs to find a better end product.
Yes, Salah completed more successful dribbles (7) than any other player. Yes, he is a threat on the counter attack. Yes, his play is great on the eye. But too often an end product is absent.

Too often he would work an opportunity for himself or a teammate but fail to meaningfully test the goalkeeper. Perhaps against less defensively stubborn opposition Salah’s goals return will be more fruitful, but in the big matches his end product needs to be better.

David De Gea continues rise to world’s best
Manchester United legend and former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was at Anfield to witness what may be already a favourite for ‘save of the season.

In the first half De Gea made a sensational save to deny Joel Matip what he must have thought would be his first goal at Anfield. From close proximity, the defender prodded a low cross goal bound but De Gea, somehow, outstretched his leg and turned the ball away with an extraordinary reaction save.

Is there a better goalkeeper in the world right now? Probably not.

Another derby fails to live up to expectation
Perhaps it’s the persistent dramatic montages of past games that wets the appetite for Liverpool versus Manchester United, but this was a game which fell flat on expectation.

Neither side started a Scouser or Mancunian but there was some determined tackling. What the game lacked was attacking invention. Jose Mourinho has become the master of nullifying these big encounters but in truth it was a rather dull watch.

Mourinho fails to break international curse
At Manchester United, Mourinho had previously failed to win a game straight after an international break having drawn four and lost one.

Both teams are filled with international stars and the effect of playing two games on far away soil took its toll on the sides today.