Date:Monday February 9 2009
Sir Alex said after the West Ham game that United are not counting their chickens yet. Well, maybe not, but we're definitely counting our points and it looks pretty good.
So here are the facts. I never believed it would happen but it looks like that Liverpool are our only credible challenger for the title we hold. This gives me confidence in the first place and then there are the numbers as well.
The maximum points United can collect is 98. Liverpool can collect up to 93 points. Their best ever Premiership haul is 82 so in order to have any chance to win the league they'll probably have to surpass that.
Liverpool have won five and drawn seven out of their last 12 league games; for the next 13 I calculate with a record of 9-4-0 which, given their form, their squad and their fixtures (they still face a visit Old Trafford, remember), is a very generous assessment.
Such a run of results would see them ending the league with a very commendable haul of 85 points which is almost title-winning form. But as United's goal difference is better (and there's no reason to suggest that Liverpool will overtake us in that department) I firmly believe that matching their points haul will be enough.
Which, in theory, would mean that United could afford to drop 13 points which means that a record of 9-2-3 or 8-6-0 would give us the glory.
I know that there are many assumptions made here and if it weren't Liverpool we're facing here I wouldn't assume, for example, that they won't simply won their last 13 games. However, Liverpool simply lack the quality to do that and I repeat, my calculation that they'll drop 8 points only is a very generous one.
Had they not beaten a poor, demoralised, disorientated Pompey side with extreme luck and by the help of comedy defending I would be even bolder now with my predictions. They beat them though and are still very much in the race but we are in a very, very strong position. That can't be denied.
Date:Monday February 9 2009
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