Three key fixtures that could define Manchester United's season between now and the New Year

History suggests that where the Special One goes, trophies and silverware quickly tend to follow. However, since his arrival at Old Trafford in the summer things have not exactly gone perfectly to plan for Jose Mourinho in his first season in the Manchester United managerial hot-seat.

 

Despite making a flying start to the new campaign, in which they secured the Community Shield and won all three of their opening Premier League fixtures, inconsistent performances and poor results have left United mulling in sixth place in the league. They are six points off a top-four place and eight points behind table-topping Liverpool, leaving them with a battle to secure Champions League football whilst the Premier League title already looks out of reach. However, it is not all bad news for United supporters. The dominant performance in their previous fixture against Swansea provided a timely reminded that Jose Mourinho’s team contains an enviable amount of offensive firepower and creativity, whilst victory over cross-city rivals Manchester City in the League Cup saw them progress into the quarter finals with a favourable home-tie to come.

Jose Mourinho undoubtedly possesses the managerial pedigree to guide United’s season in a more positive trajectory and he certainly has the players at his disposal to succeed. However, if the Portuguese maestro is to lead the club into the top-four and, potentially, claim some silverware these are the vital games that he faces before the New Year.

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