I wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year and wishing United victories in the following four games...
Sunderland, Old Trafford, Sunday 26 December, 15:00
At the Stadium of Light in October, a determined defensive showing earned United a point – and left Steve Bruce ruing his luck against his former boss. For this Boxing Day return, three points will be on the post-Christmas wish list of every Red, but defence could be the order of the day again, particularly if Bruce rolls up in M16 with the same attacking gameplan that he took to Stamford Bridge.
Birmingham City, St Andrews, Tuesday 28 December, 20:00
Alex McLeish’s men are going steadily about their business this season – with the odd standout result, not least the 1-0 home win that compounded the champions’ misery a week on from the Sunderland debacle. Too many draws have, however, left the Carling Cup semi-finalists worryingly close to the danger zone – a situation McLeish will no doubt be keen to change (for the better) against his one-time boss.
West Bromwich Albion, The Hawthorns, Saturday 1 January, 12:45
Thrashed at home by Stoke, runaway winners at Goodison… West Brom are not only proving the surprise package of this season, but have made it totally impossible to predict their results. After their OT comeback, however, one thing is certain: the Reds won’t be taking the top-flight new boys lightly. And after two, potentially priceless, points dropped in that home clash, making amends is likely to be high on the agenda…
Stoke City, Old Trafford, Tuesday 4 January, 20:00
For a side that didn’t get a point on the board until the fourth game of the campaign, the Potters’ season has picked up very nicely. Home form remains the bulwark underpinning Stoke’s mid-table berth - it took a Chicharito goal just four minutes from time to eke out three points for United at the Britannia.
Thanks for reading!