It would probably be fair to state that if Manchester United can remain in touch with leaders Manchester City after their next six league games, they will feel confident of retaining their league title this season.
It is well known that there are no easy games in the Premier League, but aside from perhaps including City in the following list, I fail to see where it could get much harder for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Arsenal (away) 22 January 2012
Although so often a match that would decide the title, Arsenal’s fall from grace has taken none of the sting away from this encounter. The tie could also see Thierry Henry and Paul Scholes line up against each-other in the most unlikely of situations. The Gunners have defensive injuries to contend with and with a resurgent Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia, the Red Devils will fancy taking something away.
Stoke (home) 31 January 2012
The Potters held United to a draw at the Britannia earlier in the campaign but their away form has been indifferent at best. Their recent draw at Liverpool will have given them confidence on the road but with United entering their toughest period, they should have enough to secure the win against Tony Pulis’s physcial side.
Chelsea (away) 5 February 2012
Say what you like about Chelsea and their form this season, but they always get themselves ready for this game. They defeated United 2-1 at Stamford Bridge last season and will be keen to do the same in order to consolidate a Champions League slot this season. Talk to people inside the club and there are still come who believe they could launch a late title assault, however unlikely it may seem from the outside. The Blues could have Michael Essien back for this tie, while it will be interesting to see how Ferguson lines up.
Liverpool (home) 11 February 2012
In a tie that could see the return of Luis Suarez, this has all the markings of an explosive encounter. Matches between the two hardly need to be stoked up, but the next game will hold a great deal of significance in the title race this season. That said, United have enjoyed a good recent home record against Liverpool and will be confident of the win.
Norwich (away) 26 February 2012
Norwich, in many ways, have been the surprise package in the league this season. They do not have any stars, or any egos, but what they do have is a wonderful team ethic which boss Paul Lambert must be given great credit for. The likes of Steve Morison and Anthony Pilkington have come in from the lower leagues and done a marvellous job, but these are exactly the sort of games that Premier League champions need to be winning.
Tottenham (away) 3 March 2012
One thing is for certain, Spurs are title contenders this season. It seems they have overtaken London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal in the title stakes and their league position is all the more remarkable after losing their opening two games of the season against the current top two. It will a tight affair, but I think United will sneak a point, just.