Jose: United’s problems ‘still there’

Jose Mourinho says the problems at Manchester United haven't gone away since he was sacked, insisting the club's troubles are rooted in the 'players, organisation and ambition'.

Mourinho was dismissed in December having shepherded the Red Devils to their worst start to a season in 28 years.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was brought in as interim replacement and the Norwegian oversaw an immediate turnaround in fortune as United went on an extended winning run.

It reached a summit when they turned around a first-leg deficit with a 3-1 Champions League last-16 success that stunned Paris St-Germain in March.

That was enough to get Solskjaer a permanent job, but United's season fizzled out thereafter. They finished tamely in the league and won't have Champions League football next season with their sixth-place finish.

Mourinho, having finished second last year, says the problems still exist at United, but he denies that Paul Pogba was the reason he lost his job.

The French World Cup winner was stripped of the vice-captaincy before an animated disagreement between the pair at the club's training ground, but that is not the reason he failed, says the Portuguese.

Asked if he was a victim of Pogba, Mourinho told French newspaper L'Equipe: "No, no. The problems are there, you can imagine that the problems are the players, the organisation and the ambition.

"I will only say that I cannot say 'yes' when you ask if Paul was the only one responsible."

Man United are 4/6 to finish in the top four next season but Mourinho feels they have plenty problems to overcome as he appeared to defend his record.

"On Manchester United, I only want to say two things. One is that time has spoken. Two, it's the problems are still there," he added.

The Red Devils are 5/2 to win a major trophy in the 2019/20 season.

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No quick fix warns Solskjaer

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned that it could take some time to restore the club to the position of Premier League title contenders.

Solskjaer was speaking after watching his side lose 2-0 at home to Cardiff City to complete a disappointing season which saw the Red Devils finish with just one win in their last nine games in all competitions.

And Solskjaer pulled no punched about the scale of the job he and his staff over the coming months.

He told MUTV: "We're used to challenging for the Premier League and that's not going to be sorted quickly.

"Realistically you're not going to catch however many points – we're 32 points behind the top teams. We've got to realistically challenge for the top four and another trophy.

"We have a very, very big job ahead of us and we all want to get back to where we belong, which is higher up the table.

"At the moment, there are two teams far ahead of us. We are four or five, six points behind the next positions and we have got to claw ourselves closer to the top two and the others."

United finished in sixth place this season, some 32 points adrift of champions Manchester City and five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur.

The Red Devils are 4/6 to finish in the top four in the Premier League next season, with Tottenham available at 4/6 and Arsenal priced at 11/10.

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Herrera confirms United exit

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has confirmed he will be leaving the Red Devils at the end of the season.

The Spain international, who signed for United during Loius van Gaal's tenure in 2014, will see his contract at Old Trafford run out this summer.

Herrera, who could play his final game for the Red Devils against Cardiff City this weekend, is believed to have been offered fresh terms at United but is thought to have turned down the chance to stay to join Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

The former Athletic Bilbao star says he was grateful for his five years at United and will remember his time at the club fondly.

He said: "Playing for the greatest club in England has been a true honour. Every time I represented this club, in every game, in wins and losses, even when I couldn't help from the grass, I understood what this clubs means."

Cardiff are getting set for their final game of the Premier League season on Sunday, when they face United.

The Bluebirds are 10/1 to win, 11/2 to draw and 2/7 to lose against United at Old Trafford.

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Solskjaer lays down the gauntlet

Sunday's final game of the season may have a significant say on the futures of some of the Manchester United players, according to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

A win for the Red Devils at home to already-relegated Cardiff could see them finish fifth in the Premier League but with no Champions League football to look forward to next term, a summer overhaul is expected.

Star names such as Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have been heavily linked with departures,while Solskjaer says he will give youth a chance on Sunday having made no secret of his desire to promote some the club's youngster's ahead of next season.

The Norwegian took over at Old Trafford in December but after a record-breaking start, the feel-good factor seems to have abated and he now looks to be suffering from a similar malaise to that endured by predecessor Jose Mourinho.

One thing in Solskjaer's favour though is that the board appear on his side and his stock has been boosted by the news that Mike Phelan has agreed to become his assistant permanently.

The 46-year-old already seems realistic about next term, admitting that a title push could be some way off.

Instead, he is keen on improving his squad and is unafraid to get rid of some of his big names if they once again fail to perform against the Bluebirds.

"I have been quite honest," he told reporters. "Challenging for the title would be miraculous next season. This summer is about players who last here for many years."

On the Cardiff fixture, he added: "You never know in football. It might be the last game but it might be the start of some careers as well. We've had some young players knocking on the door all season really and we'll start with one or two of the kids as well."

A United win on Sunday is priced at 2/7, with the draw 11/2 and Cardiff 10/1 to take the points.

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Premier League: Can United End Disappointing Season on a High?

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Manchester United vs Cardiff City

Manchester United’s disappointing Premier League campaign is mercifully coming to an end. The Red Devils have been in a horrific slump during the tail-end of the season, which has cost them Champions League football for next year.

United will at least hope to finish the season on a high in front of their home fans as they face relegated Cardiff City.

Despite a valiant effort by the Bluebirds, they are going back down to the Championship next year. The Premier League 2019 betting odds clearly don’t favour them to claim a famous win at Old Trafford, but this might be as good a shot as they’re going to get as they face a struggling United side.

Talking Points

Changes coming for United

United’s end-of-season run-in has been nothing short of disastrous. The door was wide open for them to take a top-four spot with their rivals also dropping points, but they failed to capitalise as their Premier League 2019 results just fell off a cliff.

The Red Devils have won just two of their last eight league matches and are winless in their last four (two losses, two draws). They are coming off back-to-back 1-1 draws: at home against Chelsea and, embarrassingly, at bottom-side Huddersfield.

After taking the lead early in both matches, United were unable to hold on and did not have the cutting edge to produce another goal.

United’s attack has been alarmingly bad during their rough end-of-season stretch. They have scored just three goals from open play in their last six matches — two of which have come from midfielder Scott McTominay, of all people.

 With virtually nothing left to play for, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may opt to make changes to the side in order to give some youngsters a run out at home.

Strikers Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, who started against Huddersfield, are both significant injury doubts. That opens the door for 17-year-old Mason Greenwood to get his first career United start with Marcus Rashford up top.

United have only won three of their last seven matches at home. Although, two of their three draws did come against Liverpool and Chelsea, while their lone defeat was against leaders Manchester City.

Cardiff City are still looking to disappoint us odds and win vs Manchester United despite being relegated

Neil Warnock’s side will go back to Championship next year after being relegated

Cardiff’s last stand

Cardiff City’s brief return to the Premier League is coming to an end. Despite the obvious lack of top-quality personnel, Neil Warnock’s side scrapped and clawed for most of the season. Unfortunately, it wasn’t nearly enough to ensure safety.

They gave themselves a glimmer of hope when they beat relegation rivals Brighton away from home. But they’ve since lost their last three games, which gives them nine defeats in their last 11 outings.

A major factor in Cardiff’s struggles this season has been their sheer inability to get goals. They have scored just 32 goals, the second fewest behind bottom club Huddersfield. Bobby Reid and Victor Camarasa are their joint leading scorers this season with five goals apiece.

That scoring problem has been more pronounced away from home, where they have netted only 11 times and twice in the last five games. They couldn’t even find a way to score against Fulham — the worst defence in the Premier League — in their last away game.

History

Manchester United and Cardiff have met 27 times overall. Unsurprisingly, United hold the edge in wins with 13 while Cardiff have six. There have also been eight draws between the two.

However, they have faced each other just three times in the Premier League era. Cardiff held United to a 2-2 draw in Wales, but United have since won the last two meetings.

United’s current manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, was in charge of Cardiff the last time the Bluebirds visited Old Trafford in 2014. United won that match, 2-0.

Their first matchup this season was a dominant 5-1 win for United. Marcus Rashford started the scoring early with a goal inside three minutes, while Jesse Lingard bagged a second-half brace.

Betting Tip

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Manchester United vs Cardiff City Under 3.25 Goals @ 2.08
May 12, 22:00 (GMT+8

The last day of the season usually throws up some weird results. But a Cardiff win doesn’t seem likely. us odds currently have Cardiff priced at a whopping 11.00 on the 1X2 market.

What does seem very likely, though, is a low-scoring affair. Cardiff have surprisingly kept things fairly tight away from home. They’ve allowed more than two goals just once in their last 10 away games. That includes a 2-0 defeat at Man City.

Meanwhile, both teams have had their struggles scoring recently. And with United possibly fielding a teenager or two, the chances of this game having over three goals seems unlikely.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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Premier League: No Champions League for Manchester United

Huddersfield Town 1-1 Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United will not be playing in next season’s Champions League, after they failed to beat relegated Huddersfield Town at a packed John Smith Stadium today.

The Terriers say goodbye to the Premier League and in doing so, they took a point from the most successful team in the competition’s history. After Scott McTominay gave the Red Devils an early lead, Huddersfield hit back in the second half through Isaac Mbenza. It was a special day for the hosts but a nightmare for the visitors.

We said a home win or a draw would be one of the biggest  Premier League 2019 results of the year, and so it was as the home fans roared their heroes on to a valiant point. But for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer it means a summer of rebuilding before a Europa League campaign next season.

Highlights of the game

Huddersfield’s last home game in the top flight got off to a terrible start for the hosts when their keeper made a blunder to hand Manchester United the lead. McTominay picked up the ball around 30 yards out and sidestepped Terence Kongolo before firing a low shot which Jonas Lossl should have saved, but he let the ball bounce off his foot and into the net.

United keeper David de Gea has been under plenty of pressure himself with a series of high profile errors, but he made a big save to preserve the Red Devils’ lead when a poor ball from Phil Jones allowed Grant to burst through onto goal, but de Gea did well to save in one on one as the Huddersfield man fired low and hard.

One of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s biggest problems has been the inconsistent form of Paul Pogba and he was pretty quiet again in the first half, but he can provide a big moment at any time, and he almost made it two just before the break. Juan Mata fired in a cross and the World Cup winner sent a superb header crashing against the crossbar.

The Terriers were playing with real spirit as the home crowd was determined to enjoy every minute, and they had their big moment on 60 when Lossl redeemed himself. The Huddersfield keeper caught the ball and, thinking quickly, fired his kick straight down the middle of the pitch and deep into the United half. Luke Shaw waved a foot at it and Mbenza took advantage, advancing on De Gea and sliding the ball home.

Isaac Mbenza put Huddersfield Town's last home game at Premier League in a decent draw vs Manchester United

Isaac Mbenza celebrates his equaliser during the second half of their match against Manchester United

The crowd erupted as if the Terriers had won the league. It was route one stuff but brilliantly executed, and that meant a difficult last half hour for the Red Devils.

Phil Jones had a glorious chance to restore United’s lead when he met Ashley Young’s whipped in cross, but he fired well over, and then Marcus Rashford screwed a shot wide when he should have scored.

United continued to press in search of a winner and Pogba hit the woodwork for a second time with a curling effort. Then, as Huddersfield broke and their fans roared Grant tried to beat de Gea again, but this time the United keeper saved with his legs.

Marcus Rashford had the last chance of the match firing at Lossl’s near post, but now the keeper’s handling was superb.

Key statistics

The Huddersfield vs Manchester United betting odds suggested the Red Devils would end their winless streak, but that has now stretched to five games.

us Premier League fans love an underdog and the Terriers fought tooth and nail against an expensively assembled side which had 64 per cent possession and 23 shots to the hosts’ seven.

The Terriers have had one win in 14 since head coach Jan Siewart took over but this felt like a win, and they ended a run of eight consecutive defeats.

Mbenza’s goals meant Huddersfield avoided the dishonour of being the first club in top flight history to fail to reach double figures at home, and they are still cheering in Huddersfield now!

The Terriers have won just three games this season and two of those against Wolves. But that’s now ten Premier League games without a clean sheet for Manchester United, a worrying statistic for OGS.

And the last time the Red Devils won their final away game of the season was way back in 2012.

What’s next?

This was an emotional day for the Terriers, the last home game in the Premier League and a chance to thank their beloved chairman, Dean Hoyle who is stepping down, and their fans were brilliant today. They make their final appearance away to Southampton next week.

Next up for United is a period of serious reflection; after they play a dead rubber against already another relegated team, when Cardiff City visits Old Trafford.

 

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Solskjaer: Table doesn’t lie

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says that the table doesn't lie and his side don't deserve to finish in the top four of the Premier League.

United will have to compete in the Europa League rather than the Champions League next season, their fate confirmed with failure to beat already relegated Huddersfield.

To still be in contention for a top-four finish United had to win in West Yorkshire and took an early lead through Scott McTominay.

However, Town who had only managed four points from their previous 23 games, ensured they leave the Premier League on a high, getting an equaliser from Isaac Mbenza.

United went close to regaining the lead, Paul Pogba hitting the bar, but they couldn't find a winner and look certain to finish a disappointing season in sixth position.

Solskjaer had overseen a dramatic run of form when taking over at Old Trafford from Jose Mourinho. However recent form has seen them drop out of top-four contention once again, going five games without a win after the draw in West Yorkshire.

Solskjaer afterwards gave no excuses and said his team hadn't been good enough throughout the season to warrant a place in the Champions League.

He said: "We haven't deserved to be top four, we've chased the pack and been given chances, the league is so tight. When we got the opportunities we didn't take them. The table doesn't lie in the end.

"It hurts whenever you don't win a game of football. In a stadium like this with loads of energy, their last game of the season at home, we gave them some hope and we couldn't reach our level again."

United will finish their season next weekend when relegated Cardiff are the visitors to Old Trafford.

United are 1/7 to finish the campaign with a victory while Neil Warnock's side are 14/1 and the draw is priced at 7/1.

United are 9/1 to win next season's Premier League with Liverpool 3/1 and Manchester City 8/11.

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United warned over top six spot

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Manchester United they are in danger of dropping out of the top six if they don't improve next season.

Heading into their penultimate match of the season, the Red Devils are fighting for a top four finish and are 6/1 to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Solskjaer's side are reliant on the sides above them dropping points to make fourth with Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal all ahead of United in the queue.

With their Champions League qualification chances looking slim, the Norwegian has admitted there needs to be some major improvements at the club for next season.

Solskjaer says United will be looking over their shoulders if they don't make the right moves, believing there are teams behind them capable of replacing them in the top six.

"You've got Leicester, Everton, Watford, probably Newcastle, you've got clubs that want to chase us," said Solskjaer.

"We have to make sure that we are ones who chase those ahead of us.

"We have to make sure that we are getting closer and moving that way up the table and not looking over the shoulders because there are big clubs, good clubs wanting to chase that top six."

Solskjaer went on to say that he has no worries about United attracting top talent during the summer, no matter where they end up.

"I know Manchester United is something players would love to experience," he added.

"Manchester United will always be a dream for so many. There might be players where Champions League football [solely] matters for them, and they might not be the right people."

United are 3/10 to get back to winning ways after four games without a win, while bottom of the table Huddersfield are 10/1 and the draw is 4/1.

Matic retains faith in De Gea

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic has backed David De Gea to respond to his critics by performing well in the last two games of the season.

The Spanish goalkeeper has made several high-profiles errors recently, most notably in key games against Everton, Barcelona and Chelsea.

However, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed on Friday that De Gea would be in goal for Sunday's Premier League clash at Huddersfield Town, although his decision was made for him as second-choice shot-stopper Sergio Romero suffered a knee injury in training earlier in the week.

Matic retains faith in De Gea though, saying: "Players make mistakes in every game and when a goalkeeper makes a mistake everyone sees that. When you are one of the best goalkeepers in the world people talk so much about his mistakes.

"When a goalkeeper at a 'smaller' club makes a mistake, it is spoken about for one or two days, but one of De Gea's mistakes is being spoken about for seven days.

"I'm very confident that this mistake won't affect his career. He doesn't read newspapers. He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and will be for years to come. I am very happy to have him in the team."

United, who end the season with a home game against Cardiff City, are 10/1 to finish in the top four and 1/3 to beat the Terriers on Sunday.

Premier League: Huddersfield’s Last Stand

Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United

Huddersfield Town will make their last home Premier League appearance, for a while anyway, and what a game they have to see them off.

Manchester United are the visitors, and they don’t come much more illustrious than that. It’s a fitting fixture for the Terriers, who defied all the odds by surviving their first season in the top flight, but a second campaign was just one too many.

Head coach Jan Siewert had an impossible task when he took over from David Wagner in January. The Terriers were already well adrift when Wagner left by mutual agreement and, in all honesty, they have just got worse over the second half of the season. But they’ll be determined to give their fans one last hurrah when the Red Devils come to town.

For Manchester United, this game is a rather more serious proposition. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team has been on a difficult run and has lost control of its own destiny, hoping for Chelsea and Arsenal to slip up in the chase for Champions League football. But they need to take care of their own business, and that means beating Huddersfield on Sunday.

Talking Points

The football is better than the results

You won’t have seen many, if any, us tips backing a Huddersfield win this season, so we’ll have to take advantage of Asian Handicap Betting when we make our Huddersfield vs Manchester United predictions this time!

It was a minor miracle that the Terriers made it to a second season in the Premier League, but this season they have been hopelessly out of their depth. Not one player has scored more than three goals and with 28 defeats and just 14 points they have been doomed for a while.

But they do play nice football at times, and in midfielders Philip Billing and Aaron Mooy they have two players who should find clubs in the Premier League next season. This is their last big chance for an audition.

No win situation for Red Devils

David de Gea will play this Sunday's Premier League match against Huddersfield

David de Gea has been the subject of intense debate after a series of high profile mistakes

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has something of a rebuilding job to do at Manchester United in the summer, but with a top four place still just about possible, his team must win, and win well in West Yorkshire on Sunday. Anything other than a convincing victory against the league’s whipping boys will attract yet more criticism. And so it should with the players currently plying their trade at Old Trafford.

Manchester United keeper David de Gea is going through a baffling run of form, dropping another clanger in the recent draw with Chelsea. But his boss says he’s ready to play against the Terriers and he still has his full trust, despite his recent string of errors. He’s a top class keeper for sure, but he’s in a rut.

The Red Devils were given an idea just how far they have to improve to climb back among the elite in the Manchester derby, won at a canter by the Sky Blues. OGS remains confident he can attract some players to improve his team even if they are not in the Champions League.

It would help though, so he desperately needs a win on Sunday.

History

This is a game between two teams lacking in confidence, with the hosts on a losing streak of eight, and three at home, while Manchester United hasn’t won in four games.

Huddersfield shocked the Red Devils last season with a 2-1 win at home, with Mooy on target as the Terriers stormed to a 2-0 half time lead. Marcus Rashford pulled a late goal back; but that day remains one of, if not the, best memory for Huddersfield fans of their time in the top flight.

Can this current team lift itself up by the bootstraps, one more time, and create another great memory?  Their fans deserve it.

Betting Tip

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Huddersfield Town vs Manchester United Huddersfield Asian Handicap +1.50 @ 1.89
May 05, 21:00(GMT+8)

If the Terriers somehow manage to win or even draw, this will be one of the biggest Premier League 2019 results without a doubt. They have been in wretched form and simply can’t buy a goal, with no strikers scoring more than three. And they come off

the back of a 5-0 hammering at the hands of Liverpool, so how can they possibly get a result against the Red Devils?

I don’t think they will, but, in the last home game of the season the crowd and the players will give it everything they’ve got. Manchester United is at 1.97 with that -1.50 handicap and they are the only team under pressure.

I expect a tense time for the Red Devils and a narrow win. But if you think they will get some breathing space, then a score line of 0-2 at odds of 5.80 is an alternative bet.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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