Manchester United face hectic fixture schedule in February

Manchester United face a packed schedule over February with a whopping eight fixtures on the horizon in three competitions. 

February appears to be somewhat of a ‘make or break’ month for the Reds as there will be almost no time to recover after each game before the next must-win fixture arrives.

A concern throughout the forthcoming weeks is whether or not the regular starters, who have been so crucial to the recent run of outstanding form, will remain fit.

United will have meetings in the Premier League, Carabao Cup and Europa League.

Here’s a look into each match and how our upcoming opponents fare currently.

Wednesday, February 1, Nottingham Forest (H) – Carabao Cup semi-final leg two. KO 8pm. 

We head into this match with a three-goal cushion that will be difficult to lose given Forest’s form this season and in the first leg. United will also have the home advantage and the Old Trafford faithful will be eager to roar on the team as they try and book their place in the final, which could provide our first piece of silverware in six years.

Saturday, February 4, Crystal Palace (H) – Premier League. KO 3pm.

It’s United’s second meeting with Palace in the space of a month and Reds will be hoping the match differs greatly from the away clash. A last-minute equaliser saw our nine-game winning streak come to an end with a 1-1 draw.

Patrick Vieira had also got his tactics almost spot on, as United were just unable to kill the game off throughout the 90 minutes. Even with a 1-0 lead, there was an aura of apprehensiveness amongst the players.

Wednesday, February 8 (H – KO 8pm) & Sunday 12 (A – KO 2pm), Leeds United – Premier League

A home clash and an away trip to longtime rivals Leeds will take place back-to-back in the second week of the month. The Reds are unbeaten against the Yorkshire side since their return to the top flight and given their current form, it should remain this way following both matches.

The Whites face a fight for survival again this season and currently sit in 15th place – just one point above the bottom three. Jesse Marsch has acquired new signings to bolster his squad over the winter transfer window and hopefully, they’ll quickly get the gist that against Erik ten Hag’s reds, they aren’t winning.

Thursday, February 16 (A – KO 5.45pm) & Thursday 23 (H – KO 8pm), Barcelona – Europa League

A return to European action is not in the way the team and supporters would have hoped, as it’s the knockout round playoffs. A two-legged tie awaits the sides, which is an inconvenience for both managers, who will be keen to progress to the next round of the competition but also manage players’ minutes.

United and Barcelona have not met since the 2018/2019 campaign in a Champions League quarter-final, meaning it’s our first time lining up against the Spaniards without Lionel Messi on the pitch.

Sunday, February 19, Leicester City (H) – Premier League. KO 2pm.

Brendan Rodgers has overseen a lacklustre start to the season with Leicester, who spent several weeks in the relegation zone before the World Cup last year. Form then picked up for the Foxes and they moved to safety, but are still nearing the drop and are just one point above Bournemouth in 17th.

They are currently winless in five league games. United won the reverse game at the King Power Stadium 1-0 back in September.

Sunday, February 26, Brentford (H) – Premier League. KO 1.30pm.

Every Red knows exactly where they were when we suffered that dismal defeat on the second week of the season to Brentford, and that’s why it’s so crucial that United avenge the loss and take all three points this time around.

The Bees have continued their fine form and have since picked up wins against Manchester City and Liverpool. They are currently in eighth place and have their sights firmly set on reaching new heights by qualifying for European football next season.

Things have changed pretty drastically for United, though. That loss back in August left us sat at rock bottom of the Premier League. Now we’re in fourth place, joint on points with Newcastle in third and are the only English team that remains in contention for all four competitions. Old Trafford is quickly becoming a fortress again too, as 11 consecutive wins have took place in M16.

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