Manchester United Dreaming Of A Top Four Finish After Bookmakers Slash Their Champions League Odds
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in a no-lose situation when he was appointed interim manager of Manchester United. The brief? Quite simply, don't be Jose Mourinho. The early signs are positive as United romped to a 5-1 win over Cardiff City and the bookmakers were quick to react to the result.
United produced a performance that was full of vim and vigour as they overwhelmed an admittedly limited Cardiff side in South Wales on Saturday evening. The performance of several members of the Manchester United squad was in stark contrast to the negative, lifeless and insipid displays that they had produced during the latter stages of Mourinho's reign as manager.
The appointment of Solskjaer has felt like a breath of fresh air and Twitter was awash with the unusual sight of happy Manchester United fans. Their mood was lifted by what was only their second win in six games in all competitions, although it was the manner of the performance that had supporters and pundits purring.
The Red Devils are still a whopping eight points adrift of Arsenal and Chelsea, who are fifth and fourth respectively, in the Premier League table, but they do have the benefit of a kind set of league fixtures coming up - Huddersfield at home, Bournemouth at home and Newcastle away, before an FA Cup clash with Championship side Reading. Solskjaer couldn't have asked for a kinder run of games.
United go into the Christmas period in sixth place in the league table and the bookmakers reacted to their win in South Wales by cutting them in from 10/1 to 6/1 for a top-four finish. They have only made the top-four twice in five seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2012/13 campaign, finishing 7th, 4th, 5th, 6th and 2nd each year since.
Premier League Top-Four Finish Odds:
2/9 - Tottenham
2/5 - Chelsea
13/8 - Arsenal
6/1 - Manchester United
It is a big ask for United to secure Champions League football for next season but Solskjaer has made a perfect start.
It only took Ole Gunnar Solskjaer one match.