* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
Just like that, Man United find themselves three points behind their fellow city rivals and with Pep Guardiola’s men having a game in hand. It all unravelled rather unceremoniously in the end didn’t it?
You can forgive them for the games they went out to try and win but fell short, but ultimately the last 20 minutes against Arsenal may sting the most due to a lack of urgency and overall acceptance that chasing a title was beyond them.
So, with the wave of euphoria of being better than Liverpool for a fortnight behind them, where do people point fingers now if not at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer? And how quickly does the Norwegian return to being a bloke who lacks identity for his teams rather than a chief motivator who removed the shackles?
Tuesday 20:15 – Manchester United v Southampton
BT Sport 1
This game has all the makings of trouble for United. Southampton are a side who, while clearly talented, haven’t taken as much as a point from their last three games in the league.
With a sharp refocus and The Reds being an obvious target to turn due to their lack of morale in the camp, this is the perfect storm for Ralph Hassenhuttl to wave. Here is a cheeky Bet Builder to accompany your viewing pleasure.
- Check out all the latest Football tips and previews now
United deal with this in one of two ways. They’re either livid and they lose that free-willed arrogance that they played with that got them where they are to this point – or as Gary Neville suggests – they’re content with a point against Arsenal and keep that low-level ambition as their focus going forward.
Either way, it results in them being slow to try and win games. Yes, to now, it’s always felt slightly like United had won games off of individual brilliance rather than any formulated plan, but it’s hard to criticise that notion if it’s working – even if it’s low percentage.
This gives Southampton an invitation, and unlike a lot of the sides outside the top six, the Saints are better with the ball than without it. United should be careful what they wish for here.
Tentative games never produce goals, especially one where one team desperately needs to upset the odds and the other believe they’ve enough natural talent to get by.
When team is struggling for confidence and the other believes they don’t need in order to win games, it can often be a trade-off of long, mundane passages of possession between centre halves and overly-ambitious balls into the centre forwards that trickle out of play.
If there’s one player that’s epitomised the seemingly seismic shift in ambition at the club over the last year, it’s Fernandes. You can visibly see the frustration in him when things aren’t going right.
He even had a couple of nibbles against Arsenal the other day, showing that, in fact, he’s not satisfied with the approach they’re taking. When he’s in this kind of form, he takes matters into his own hands.
Did you see the Arsenal game, at all? They’ve no desire to turn the tables late in games anymore – it just disappeared overnight. Maybe that’s from the realisation that this title race, despite their prominence, really doesn’t concern them – or maybe it’s that their individual brilliance has dried up for a spell. Both have the same result, ultimately.
NOT SURE WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT? CLICK HERE TO LEARN ALL ABOUT WHAT A BET BUILDER IS
BET BUILDER ACCA INSURANCE
If one leg of your 4+ fold Bet Builder lets you down, you get up to £/€10 back as a free bet. Customers can qualify for 1 Bet Builder Acca Insurance per day up to £/€10. The free bets will be credited by 12pm the following day.
- Football tips: Our deadly 4/1 Premier League Double for Tuesday’s action
- Football tips: Willian Jose to land our 6/1 Wolves v Arsenal Bet Builder
- Football tips: Sheffield United can lead Tuesday’s Premier League Double
- Football tips: Our class 17/1 accumulator for Tuesday’s games in the UK