• Which Premier League Team Is Least Likely To Reach The Champions League Last-16?

    For the first time ever, five Premier League teams will be taking part in the Champions League group stages, thanks to Manchester United taking advantage of the new bonus place which has been awarded to the winners of the Europa League since 2015. ...

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  • Manchester United Have A Width Problem

    Manchester United's flying start to the season ran into some turbulence in the form of Mark Hughes' Stoke City at the weekend. Still unbeaten, Jose Mourinho's side would nonetheless have been thoroughly disappointed by the result in the Potteries. More worrying than the result, though, was the drop off in performance levels. ...

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  • Andreas Pereira Is Set For A Tactical Apprenticeship At Valencia

    Statistically, Tony Adams is the worst coach LaLiga has ever seen, taking zero points from a possible 21 during his brief stint at Granada at the end of last season. Marcelino, on the other hand, is one of the best, having amassed 363 points out of a possible 729, a rate of 1.5 per game. Considering some of the modest teams he has been coaching during his decade of top-flight experience, such as Recreativo Huelva, Racing Santander and Real Zaragoza, that is a very impressive batting average. ...

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  • Put The Caution Aside: Manchester United Are Actually Very Impressive

    Manchester United have started the season really well. Indeed, in an entire 20-team division, they are the only side to have won all three of their games so far. Now, this could be chalked up to an accident of the fixture calendar as those matches would all have been games from which they would have expected to get all three points but played three, won three, scored 10 and conceded none is just about as good as anyone could have expected in the bit between the start of the season and the first international break. And in recent years, "games from which they would have expected to get all three points" have stopped being taken for granted. ...

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  • Returning Zlatan Ibrahimovic Must Adjust To A Changed Manchester United

    “Never go back”. How many times has that old truism been rolled out to caution against a player and a club trying to rekindle the magic that lay behind a once vibrant association? Yet according to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, he never truly left Manchester United. Sure, the Swede was let go at the end of last season after tearing his knee ligament but following a summer of rest, recuperation, treatment and rehabilitation, he is once again on the payroll at Old Trafford, playing for a team that has already moved on. ...

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  • Jese Seeks Healing And Progress In Stoke

    If words had the same impact as actions a footballer’s career would be far simpler. Jese Rodriguez, a graduate of Real Madrid’s famed academy had all of the actions to back up his words when he was a youth player destroying defences with frightening ease. He won the U19 European Championship in 2012, finishing the tournaments top scorer. Unlike many of his friends in the youth team Jese had potential to play at the highest level, even if Jose Mourinho was skeptical. ...

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  • Rodgers, Favre, Nagelsmann And The Flaw In FIFA’s Coach Of The Year Award

    Imagine the gold medal Justin Gatlin won in the World Athletics Championships 100m final was taken off him and handed to Usain Bolt. Sure, the American won that individual race, but everybody knows that Bolt is the better sprinter and, more than that, he’s far more popular too. Yes, Gatlin crossed the line ahead of the Jamaican, but let’s just give the prize to Bolt. Sounds unfair, right? ...

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  • Nemanja Matic, Manchester United And A Win-Win Transfer

    It's too early to claim Nemanja Matic's move to Manchester United as a success. In fact, it's too early to claim it to be anything at all. One Premier League game, even one brilliant Premier League, doesn't make a season. What does seem more certain, though, is that Matic will play a different role for United than the one he was occupying at Chelsea. Under Antonio Conte, the Serbian was on sentry duty, patrolling the middle of the pitch with N'Golo Kante and building the block which kept so many of the team's opponents locked within their own half last season. ...

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  • How Did Manchester United’s Defeat Of West Ham Rank In Post-Ferguson History?

    Pickings have been pretty slim when it comes to really great Manchester United performances since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. Many of the wins that have come since have been reasonably attritional, and, of course, there have been fewer of those wins than United fans had become accustomed to during the great man's reign. So when United tore West Ham United apart, beating them 4-0 at Old Trafford in Sunday's season opener, the idea that this was the best performance they had put in since Sir Alex strode off into the sunset gained some traction. ...

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  • Morning Editorial: Real Madrid Are On A Different Level To The Rest Of Europe

    The scoreline may have been a close one, but the general gulf in quality between Real Madrid and Manchester United explains why the Spanish giants won the game and why they European champions.  In the build-up to this meeting, Juan Mata claimed that the gap between the two clubs is 'not very big', and in terms of stature the Spaniard was correct, but for most of the match last night it was clear who had won the Champions League and who had won the Europa League. ...

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