After Everton and Tottenham had the top-four stuffing knocked out of them in the space of a few days, Manchester United suddenly look the most likely to hunt down their old enemy and claim fourth spot.
Juan Mata’s arrival and the return to fitness of their top scorers of last season, Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, provide the greenest shoots yet that the Red Devils can banish their troubles thus far with a trademark strong finish.
Although they will want to go far in Europe, David Moyes’ main objective will be to bridge the current six-point gap to fourth place and dislodge Liverpool to ensure they don’t miss out on the Champions League for the first time in the Premier League era.
This mission appeared one for Tom Cruise just a few weeks back, but with victory over Cardiff when the teams directly above them floundered, United’s odds have shrunk rapidly to 2/1 that they can make it.
Of course, 4/7-shots Liverpool will have other ideas, but as the leafs consider a return to the trees, they’ll be no team pushing them harder than the Red Devils, especially if they manage to pull off another transfer coup by signing Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich.
Although they have struggled to deal with the Moyes’ transition, these United players strolled to the title last season, while Everton and Tottenham have become accustomed to falling short of the top-four watermark.
Whereas United have pivotal players returning to their line-up, Everton have not only lost their biggest goal threat in Romelu Lukaku to a long layoff, but they have been decimated by defensive injuries too.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s latest mauling, showed their tactical naivety against the top sides will continue to cost them dear, while they change personnel too regularly still also.
Although Spurs had turned a corner, their identity is still some way off being located as neither Andre-Villas Boas nor Tim Sherwood have found a settled side just yet and injuries also continue to plague the Londoners.
When Liverpool next check their wing mirrors, it will be Red Devils they are most afraid of seeing.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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