Dark Horse Chronicles – Manchester United

After a few weeks hiatus, I’ve brought back the Dark Horse Chronicles!

1st Dark Horse of the New Year: Manchester United

Manchester United started the year off in appalling form causing many to start “Jose Out” movements on social media and the real world. Despite a reasonable finish in the 2017-2018 season, this season hasn’t been anything close. It took less than half of a season to have shipped as many goals as they had in the entirety of the prior season. Some of the frustration was undoubtedly due to the near-constant injury problems, especially in central defense but United had been pretty poor throughout the season. That said, I thought that Luke Shaw has shown why he came to United in the first place, and he has been stellar when fit.

Although they came off of last season have been runner-up to an absolutely rampant Manchester City side as well as bringing home the Europa League trophy — this season has been totally different. They managed only 3 wins in the first 7 games, including losses to Brighton and West Ham which were serious shocks to the fanbase and losing to Tottenham which was far more likely in the fans minds. A string of wins in the midst of October and early November brought a little bit of hope back to the club — especially with Mourinho saying that they would be top four by the end of the year. Somehow, the team escaped the group stages in the UEFA Champions League and after a final run of winless games against lesser-opponents and a thrashing at Liverpool, Mourinho was relieved of duty.

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Manchester United vs Tottenham 2019

Manchester United Tottenham

Manchester United at Tottenham Hotspur:Jan 11, 2019 Introduction: This game sets up as a very interesting game for a number of story lines. First, the bookies have indicated that Mauricio Pochettino is the odds on favorite to take over the vacancy left by Jose’s firing. The second, is that the “second choice” for this position … Read moreManchester United vs Tottenham 2019

(UPDATED) Premier League – Week 20 Slate

Premier League Week 20

After taking a small break from league play after the New Year – there was some Carabao and FA Cup action in the interim – the Premier League returns to weekend play for at least the next two weeks for Matchdays 22 and 23.

As I have been talking about for a weeks now, the Premier League remains divided into three tiers, with the Top Six beginning to distance themselves from the rest of the league – 6th place (in the table) Manchester United is seven points ahead of 7th-place Leicester City – the the bottom of the league is really starting to fall behind.

As always, the number in parenthesis before each club reflects their spot on our Power Rankings, and we’ll try to keep this list updated as the week progresses. Home teams are listed first, and winners will be indicated in bold. In the event of a draw, both teams will be placed in italics.

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(UPDATED) Premier League – Week 18 Slate

As I covered in my weekly Power Rankings, there hasn’t been much change to the overall stratification of the Premier League, just some changes within the three groups that make up the league. But with the clubs playing twice this week due to Boxing Day, there will either be some more separation between the groups or reinforcement of the already established groups.

The Boxing Day matches also mark the conclusion of the first half of the season, so starting on Saturday, we will be seeing rematches from earlier matches with the locations switched. Liverpool has a Boxing Day match against Newcastle United, so it is expected that they will enter the back half undefeated (16-3-0), and they have surrendered only 7 goals so far this season, the best result in that regard ever.

As always, the number in parenthesis before each club reflects their spot on our Power Rankings, and we’ll try to keep this list updated as the week progresses. Home teams are listed first, and winners will be indicated in bold. In the event of a draw, both teams will be placed in italics.

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Champions League – Round of 16 Draw

Champions League is taking a break until February now that the group stage is complete. But before it does, they needed to determine the pairings for the next round of matches.

The draw took place this morning at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. As a reminder, here’s how the eight groups were settled during group play:

Group

Winners (seeded in draw)Runners-up (unseeded in draw)

A

Borussia Dortmund (GER)Atlético Madrid (ESP)

B

Barcelona (ESP)Tottenham Hotspur (ENG)

C

Paris Saint-Germain (FRA)Liverpool (ENG)

D

Porto (POR)Schalke 04 (GER)

E

Bayern Munich (GER)Ajax (NED)

F

Manchester City (ENG)Lyon (FRA)

G

Real Madrid (ESP)Roma (ITA)

H

Juventus (ITA)Manchester United (ENG)

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Liverpool v. Manchester United – Premier League (@Anfield)

Liverpool v. Manchester United Before we get too far into this match up, I want to take a moment for a shout out. This is the first time I can remember where all four English teams in Champions League group stage advanced. Manchester United and Manchester City had their positions locked down much earlier. The … Read moreLiverpool v. Manchester United – Premier League (@Anfield)