Premier League Half-Term Reports: Man United on the up
Team Name: Manchester United
Current Premier League position: 4th
Giddy highs: United are yet to record anything that can be deemed a Giddy High but given the disappointment of last season the fourth-place spot they currently occupy could be deemed nosebleed territory.
The 4-0 demolition of QPR is the most comprehensive result so far this term but we think that says more about Harry’s boys than the Red Devils.
Crushing lows: That. Leicester. Defeat. To lead 2-0 and 3-1 away and not come back with any points is a disaster.
Things may have been different had Radamel Falcao scored when hitting the crossbar, or had Rafael not conceded that dubious penalty but when you ship five goals there can be no excuses.
The defence in general is a crushing low and reinforcements are required in January if a top four finish is to be realised.
Shining Star: Angel Di Maria
As the most expensive player in Premier League history it is no surprise to see Di Maria terrorising defences but the speed with which he has adapted to the English game is remarkable.
He has taken the move in his stride and his totals of three goals and three assists from five games show he will be integral to United’s success this term.
Biggest Disappointment: Luke Shaw
With a £30m price tag United fans could have expected Shaw to slot in as a like-for-like replacement for Patrice Evra.
However, the emergence of Tyler Blackett, the arrival of Marcos Rojo, Louis Van Gaal’s early use of the 3-5-2 formation and fitness concerns have limited the teenager to just 162 minutes of football.
Best bet for the rest of the season: Betting without Man City and Chelsea @ 7/4
Final Thoughts: United occupy fourth but this has as much to do with poor starts from Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton as it does their own results.
Old Trafford now boasts one of the most potent attacking line-ups in the league but needs to beef up the defence in January.
If they can hold out until then a top four spot or even third place could be in the offing.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.