Michael Owen: Manchester United Can Win The Premier League If They Do One Thing
After seeing Manchester United defeat Sheffield United 3-2, Michael Owen picked out the one thing his former club need to do to win the title this season.
A Marcus Rashford double helped Man United overcome Dean Henderson's early howler and the Old Trafford side now sit fifth in the league table, five points behind leaders Liverpool but with a game in hand.
Owen, who won the Premier League with United in 2011, says that the key to a successful title challenge is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finding a way to keep Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the team alongside one another.
"Well, they can [win the league]," Owen told Amazon Prime Sport. "There's a few teams that can. The only way they can is by getting their best players on the pitch."
"If you've got Pogba and Fernandes in your squad you can't win the title if they're in the stands. You've got these unbelievable players you've spent millions on, the only way you will win the title is with your best players playing.
"If you take two or three out then they're an OK team. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to keep finding a way of getting Pogba, Fernandes and Rashford playing together, how they haven't kept them together is unbelievable."
There's been plenty of debate of how United utilise their wealth of attacking options - in particular whether Fernandes and Pogba can gel in the same midfield. But Owen's belief is that getting the Portuguese playmaker and the French World Cup winner working in unison can be instrumental in a title bid.
Fernandes has been brilliant in his first year at the club since signing from Sporting CP, while Pogba has had a troubled season - not helped by injury niggles and his agent Mino Raiola seeming to change his mind on whether the player wants to be at Old Trafford. But, as he showed against Sheffield United, he can be brilliant at his best.
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In-form Rashford picks himself, although Owen did mention that United's defence will also need to be stable.
"They're one of the best counter-attacking teams in the country"@themichaelowen believes if @ManUtd tighten up defensively, the 2020/21 Premier League title could be heading to Old Trafford :trophy:#PLonPrime #SHUMUN pic.twitter.com/PiMdDhwekP- Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 17, 2020
"There's not many attacking units in the world than that," said Owen when looking at United's array of talent going forward. "So if they can just show up at the back, be better in possession, then they will have a right run for this title."
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes was in full agreement with Owen that the club will be up there among the title challengers.
'If they can keep nine or 10 players fit for the next 26 games they will be there or thereabouts," Scholes told Amazon Prime Sport. "They've found an exciting way of playing.
"I think [Solskjaer] has changed formations and personnel a lot. For five games [last year] they didn't change the team and it was this team tonight without the left-back and goalkeeper. It's a 4-2-3-1 and it worked."
Can Man United challenge for the league title this season? Let us know in the comments.
All imagery: PA Images
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