Manchester United

Manchester United: Biggest Games Left for Manchester United in 2012

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 10:  Javier Hernandez of Manchester United celebrates with  team-mate Luis Antonio Valencia (R) at the end of the Barclays Premier league match between Aston Villa and Manchester United at Villa Park on November 10, 2012 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IINovember 14, 2012

Manchester United could not have imagined a better start to the 2012/13 season, with the Premier League giants leading the English competition and picking up four wins from as many matches in their Champions League group matches so far.

The Red Devils have recorded big wins over rivals Arsenal and Chelsea already this year, and with their new-look attack featuring Robin van Persie alongside Wayne Rooney dominating their opponents, the season ahead is looking bright for Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

That's not to say, however, that there won't be challenges for United this year, with the Red Devils facing several significant obstacles throughout the year already and bound to face several more in their quest to win both the English and European titles.

With Christmas and the January winter transfer window just around the corner, the next two months are a crucial period in United's campaign this year regarding those title aspirations.

Here are their biggest matches before the end of 2012.

 

Galatasaray (A), November 20

Having progressed through their opening four Champions League matches without a loss, United will be looking to make it five straight when they travel to Turkey to take on Galatasaray.

Their spot in the knockout stages of the tournament is not in jeopardy, but the Red Devils would love to progress through their six group stage matches with six wins, and this fixture is most likely their only chance at suffering a defeat.

The Turkish giants pushed them at Old Trafford when the two sides met earlier in the competition and will no doubt provide a tough opponent in this one. 

 

Manchester City (A), December 9

Few matches on the Manchester United calendar are bigger than this one—taking on rivals Manchester City at their home ground, Etihad Stadium.

The Citizens basically ended the Red Devils' chance at the Premier League last year by defeating them in this exact fixture and will be looking to prove themselves against the current league leaders with a strong performance.

Knowing how close the title race was last year, both teams will be eager to get the three points in this one and perhaps more so, prevent the other from either making ground or extending their lead on the Premier League ladder.

And there's also that 6-1 drubbing to keep in mind. 

 

Newcastle United (H), December 26

Taking on Newcastle United at home shouldn't provide too much of a challenge for United given the 3-0 drubbing they laid on the Magpies at St. James' Park earlier in the year, but Alan Pardew's men are certainly no easy-beat for the Red Devils.

Considering that the likes of Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse will be on their way to the African Cup of Nations just a few weeks later, both strikers will be eager to make an impression for their club side now whilst they still can, and will certainly have their chances against an unstable United back-line.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men have not been sound at all defensively this year, and will certainly face a tough match from the Magpies' strong midfield and attack as a result.

 

West Bromwich Albion (H), December 29

West Brom have been arguably the surprise team of the Premier League this year—currently sitting in fifth position on the Premier League ladder and perhaps unlucky not to find themselves inside the top four on performances so far.

Steve Clarke's men lost points in the final minute of play against both Manchester City and Newcastle United earlier this year, and having already beaten Everton and Liverpool as well as drawing against Tottenham, the Baggies have shown they can topple the top teams this year.

They will not have any European responsibilities to concentrate on, meaning that they will be solely focused on this match, whilst United will most likely have Champions League knockout matches concentrate their attention on.

At home, you'd think that the Red Devils would be too strong, but you never know—especially not with what West Brom are producing this year.

 

What do you think United's biggest matches remaining in 2012 are?

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