Manchester United are rolling under Erik ten Hag.
The Red Devils haven’t missed a beat after Christmas following a lengthy hiatus, winning their last five games across three competitions since returning to action. Their stellar recent form has seen them move up to fourth in the Premier League and progress further in both domestic cup competitions.
However, an ominous run awaits Ten Hag’s men, and their upcoming schedule has only got more hectic following the rescheduling of their Premier League clash away at Crystal Palace – initially postponed due to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II last September.
Here’s what United’s next five games look like after the rearrangement of the Palace fixture.
The Red Devils celebrated their return to competitive domestic action just before Christmas with a 2-0 victory over Championship high-flyers Burnley in the Carabao Cup fourth round.
Their triumph set up a quarter-final clash with middling League One side Charlton Athletic at Old Trafford.
The two sides will meet on Tuesday night with a spot in the semi-finals up for grabs. United’s upcoming opponents are the only non-Premier League side left in the competition.
This feels like the most significant Manchester derby in a little while.
Man Utd head into the contest in red-hot form and will reduce the gap between themselves and their Manchester rivals to a point should they prevail. Man City thumped Ten Hag’s side 6-3 in the first derby of the season, and will need to claim three points at Old Trafford if they’re to stick with league leaders Arsenal.
Here we go, the rearranged clash.
United will make the trip to Selhurst Park on the Wednesday night after the derby as they take on a slumping Crystal Palace side. The pressure is insidiously starting to mount on Patrick Vieira, who recently oversaw defeats to Tottenham and Southampton on home soil.
The Eagles are blessed with bags of talent but are destined to conclude the campaign in the middle of the pack once again. Still, Selhurst Park is typically a tricky ground to visit, especially under the lights.
Vieira needs a big victory to reignite his reign.
The Red Devils inflicted Arsenal’s only defeat of the Premier League season so far back in September as Antony scored on debut and Marcus Rashford’s renaissance began in a 3-1 win.
The Gunners have continued to grow since that defeat and currently sit five points clear at the top of the table. They’ve been nothing short of outstanding this season, but they’ll have to mitigate a tough January schedule if they’re to keep Man City at bay before their February match-up.
Nevertheless, the hosts will be out for revenge when United come to town for this Super Sunday clash.
A 3-1 victory over Everton on Friday night saw United safely progress into the FA Cup fourth round where they’ll take on Championship side Reading.
Royals boss Paul Ince will return to Old Trafford hoping to cause a major upset. Reading are currently mid-table in the second tier, and the hosts will be expected to comfortably advance into the fifth round.
But the magic of the FA Cup can’t be overlooked, just ask Eddie Howe and Unai Emery.