Manchester United’s title credentials are yet to be genuinely challenged, Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has claimed ahead of Saturday’s clash at Anfield.
Jose Mourinho’s Reds go into the North-West derby in electric form, unbeaten all season and scoring four goals in a single match on six occasions in the opening 10 matches.
Yet that form is down to the quality of opponents, not just Man United’s best team since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, says Fowler.
“If you look at the fixtures – I’m not having a go at Manchester United here – but the run that they’ve had, they’ve played teams who, on paper, they should be beating,” Fowler said, as per the Daily Mail.
“Without sounding disrespectful to them, now you’ll see over maybe the next month or so, with the run of fixtures they’ve got, what sort of team that really is. They’ve done well. Football is a confidence thing, and that breeds confidence.”
It’s wrong to dismiss United as title challengers due to the easy run of fixtures. These games are exactly the games that David Moyes’ and Louis van Gaal‘s United failed to beat. In fact, these games are the ones that saw Mourinho’s side finish sixth in the league last season.
Now, United are winning these games, and comfortably, blowing away West Ham, Swansea, Everton and Crystal Palace with 4-0 wins.
However, Fowler is correct that United need to prove themselves in big games. Liverpool on Saturday is the first in a run of a few.
Mourinho sees his side go against Tottenham Hotspur on October 28 and then Chelsea on November 5. If United want the title, they should be winning at least two of the three big games against Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea.
It’s not just the team, it’s specific players, too. Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku have both been in superb form, but must show they can perform at the same level against more challenging opposition.
The same can be said for United’s defence, who have conceded just twice in the opening seven league games, but have faced few genuinely fearsome attacks.