We're comfortably the third best team in the league

Moby

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City and Liverpool are surely on a different level to the rest and there's a bit of work as well as new arrivals needed before we can aim for that sort of quality being delivered consistently but looking at the rest currently we're easily ahead of the pack.

Our poor form at the start of the season along with injuries to key players like Pogba and having to play passengers like Andreas hurt our standing in this season's table. But with a fully fit squad both in terms of individual quality and style of play we are looking ahead of the remaining pack.

Leicester had a great run and credit to them and BR for that but unsurprisingly that didn't continue for long. Arsenal are in shambles. Spurs managerial change hasn't gone great and they are pretty much in transition. Chelsea is surely the closest rival for us and they will have a better squad next season so that's one team to watch out for but even with their new transfers we have better quality. And we will spend as well.

Our defense while still not perfect has been shutting up shop well enough for most parts. We have conceded very little in the last 10-12 odd games and that includes a couple of goalkeeper errors. Our midfield options look pretty great already and with a fully fit squad we should be dominating most teams in the middle. It's very difficult to face two players of the caliber of Bruno and Pogba and that will open up teams.

Overall right now and even thinking about the summer transfers and next season I definitely see us as overtaking the rest of the chasing pack behind the big two.
 

TheNewEra

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There's good squad depth I think is another factor, players like Mata, Matic are great to bring on for experience. (in big games this matters)

Having someone like Matic to start games where experience matters against teams like City, Liverpool is a great option to have. Where-as in other games McTominay will be good for the energy (certainly against lesser opposition).

A world class winger, and a further top class addition and I honestly see the team challenging for the league.

Keeping hold of Pogba is vital now, but even if next season it's not a PL but it's second or third, players will be far more likely to join.

For example a CDM role if thats the priority in 12 months knowing you have Maguire behind you, DDG in goal, and you get to play with Pogba and Bruno... it's obviously a much easier choice than knowing you are going to play with Cleverley and Anderson.

One point the majority are forgetting is what happens when you have confidence and belief, it makes you go from 10 goals a season as a player to 15 because you do things quicker, your mind is sharper and you make more runs.

The current batch of players after a 10 or so game run, seeing Bruno, Pogba players like Rashford/Martial will be more likely to make runs if they know they have players able to pick them out, players like AWB and Shaw will push forward too knowing that they have the players in-front of them to hurt teams.

A lot of the next season will be on head-to-head (big 4) games, and a bit of luck with injuries too.

Right now is certainly the best the team has been since SAF retired.
 
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Pagh Wraith

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That would be Chelsea. Though United are not far off and both should have more points based on their performances. Clearly United are better than Leicester, yes.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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I would agree with this, on talent alone Chelsea don’t even get close to us but we do need to add further strength to our team. Sancho would be a dream signing and I think would take us up another level and we still need to add further players in midfield and in defence but overall it’s looking like the best squad we have had in years.
 

hasanejaz88

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Pretty much agreed. Chelsea is the closest competitor but they haven't shown the consistency we have had this year. Bruno has changed that alot.
 

Infra-red

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If you look at the underlying stats, there is very little between United and Chelsea:

xG
United: 54
Chelsea 57

xG against
United: 31
Chelsea: 33

xPoints
United: 57
Chelsea: 56

Obviously, Chelsea have a game in hand, but you can see how close the two sides are.

It appears that we are both planning to bring in at least one top class attacking player in the summer, too. Neither side has the quality to challenge the top two, but the battle for third next season, might be a tightly contested one.
 

Sarni

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That would be Chelsea. Though United are not far off and both should have more points based on their performances. Clearly United are better than Leicester, yes.
We are better than Chelsea.
 

Adisa

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I don't think you can objectively make that judgement.
The table does not lie.
 

SilentWitness

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You look much better with Bruno so who is to say that Chelsea don't look much better when they add Ziyech/Werner? As a neutral I don't think there's much between you both. You probably edge it at the moment considering your 'form' but it's fairly evenly matched. You both have fantastic youth prospects, are seemingly making the correct signings to fine tune your squads, getting rid of the 'deadwood' in each etc. If you make smart signings in the summer or get someone like Sancho then that will put you on another level.

The worry for you is that if Bruno/Pogba get injured you'll struggle like feck creatively which you did before.

EDIT: Another reason that this argument is based on form - you were 11 points from the relegation zone toward the end of January and 14 points from 3rd! That shows how a) Influential Bruno has been and b) How much of a cliff Leicester have fallen off as you're now 22 from the relegation zone and 6 points from 3rd.

Wolves actually beat you in terms of the form table for 2020 too. You're 4th with 18 points and they're 3rd with 19 points. So yeah, it's not 'comfortable' at all.
 
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Pretzels81

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No mate, that's Leicester.

The next transfer window will be the most important this club has had in years. Pogba and DDG gone or staying, Sancho or some other RFW, a decent ST/CF sub, new CB, new LB, etc.
 

Pagh Wraith

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If you look at the underlying stats, there is very little between United and Chelsea:

xG
United: 54
Chelsea 57

xG against
United: 31
Chelsea: 33

xPoints
United: 57
Chelsea: 56

Obviously, Chelsea have a game in hand, but you can see how close the two sides are.
Using StatsBomb's numbers, which are way more accurate, you get 51.6 - 29.3 (Chelsea, game in hand) vs 48.3 - 29.9 (United). Inside the box opportunities is another stat that is a really good indicator for true strength. Chelsea are a net +145 compared to United's +39 (Liverpool +149, City +216). Most importantly they are clearly rated the superior team by the betting markets. If they were to meet on a neutral pitch today, Chelsea would be favourites again (by about a quarter of a goal).

The notion that United are the better side is really exclusive to this forum which is bound to be biased towards United.
 

Tarrou

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we're not comfortably the 3rd best IMO, or we wouldn't be where we are

it's pretty close between Chelsea and us, and I'd say Wolves and Leicester are in the mix too
 

The Boy

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I've said this in other threads, but I think United are in a very enviable position at the moment. You have alot of young players developing together very quickly with a few older more experienced heads to help. The development of McT, Rashford, Martial, AWB, Williams, Greenwood etc this seaosn have been exceptional and they can only get better. It feels as though this is the beginning of something quite special. Hang onto Pogba (I think you will) and get Sancho in (I'd also like to see Rice) and the sky is the limit for this group.
 

Eire Red United

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Yeah I’d say we’re comfortably third best in the league now. Chelsea look good but have no one of the quality that Pogba and Bruno have.
We’re not that far away from the other two and I wouldnt bet against us in a one off match. We just need to get that knack of winning dirty nicking wins when you’re not playing overly well. We had it under Fergie and Liverpool seem to have it at the minute.
 

TrustInJanuzaj

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Using StatsBomb's numbers, which are way more accurate, you get 51.6 - 29.3 (Chelsea, game in hand) vs 48.3 - 29.9 (United). Inside the box opportunities is another stat that is a really good indicator for true strength. Chelsea are a net +145 compared to United's +39 (Liverpool +149, City +216). Most importantly they are clearly rated the superior team by the betting markets. If they were to meet on a neutral pitch today, Chelsea would be favourites again (by about a quarter of a goal).

The notion that United are the better side is really exclusive to this forum which is bound to be biased towards United.
We have also dominated them 3 times this season, it’s not even that close to be honest.
 

crossy1686

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I don't think you can objectively make that judgement.
The table does not lie.
Well the table does lie, it would actually take one big season played out over 33 seasons with all current variables remaining the same to have a reliably accurate league table. Until that happens this current format is the best we've got!

To add though, I don't think there's much between us a Chelsea in terms of squads but I would suggest we're better 11 vs 11. They were struggling badly towards the COVID break and we were in the ascendency after being quite unlucky for a big chunk of the season.
 

izec

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Currently yes. But Chelsea have closed the gap with Ziyech and Werner IMO. And they will buy one or two more i assume. We need to go out this summer and buy a couple of players, for the first team and competition. If City and Liverpool don't buy a lot, even better for us.
 

flappyjay

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I have been burned a lot of times over the past few years. Let's see what these boys can do over the next 7 weeks before we proclaim them 3rd best. On paper the 11 from last night are 3rd best in the league.

When Chelsea and ourselves get our summer signings in we might create a big gulf between us and the rest of the top 4 hopefuls. I could also see Spurs and wolves open a gap between themselves and the likes of Arsenal.
 

Danny Roberts

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City and Liverpool are surely on a different level to the rest and there's a bit of work as well as new arrivals needed before we can aim for that sort of quality being delivered consistently but looking at the rest currently we're easily ahead of the pack.

Our poor form at the start of the season along with injuries to key players like Pogba and having to play passengers like Andreas hurt our standing in this season's table. But with a fully fit squad both in terms of individual quality and style of play we are looking ahead of the remaining pack.

Leicester had a great run and credit to them and BR for that but unsurprisingly that didn't continue for long. Arsenal are in shambles. Spurs managerial change hasn't gone great and they are pretty much in transition. Chelsea is surely the closest rival for us and they will have a better squad next season so that's one team to watch out for but even with their new transfers we have better quality. And we will spend as well.

Our defense while still not perfect has been shutting up shop well enough for most parts. We have conceded very little in the last 10-12 odd games and that includes a couple of goalkeeper errors. Our midfield options look pretty great already and with a fully fit squad we should be dominating most teams in the middle. It's very difficult to face two players of the caliber of Bruno and Pogba and that will open up teams.

Overall right now and even thinking about the summer transfers and next season I definitely see us as overtaking the rest of the chasing pack behind the big two.
I think it's ludicrous to suggest we're "comfortably" the best and will "definitely" overtake the rest. In theory we should be battling for third with Chelsea and I think it would be foolish to entirely write off Leicester.
 

roonster09

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I dont think we are comfortably third best team, Liverpool and City are at least a level ahead and then bunch of few clubs who are clubbed together and rated based on form, all are close to each other.
 

Havak

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I think we can almost agree on this, I believe Chelsea needs to add a bit more than we do if they're going to be as good as us (at least on paper), such as arguably a goalkeeper and a few defenders. While I fully believe we could and should be favourites for third next season if we only sign Sancho or another exciting right winger/forward who would nail down that starting place.

I fully believe that next season, the top four sides will be Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea. Not necessarily in that order when it comes down to it, but definitely those four teams.
 

cnwo

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You look much better with Bruno so who is to say that Chelsea don't look much better when they add Ziyech/Werner? As a neutral I don't think there's much between you both. You probably edge it at the moment considering your 'form' but it's fairly evenly matched. You both have fantastic youth prospects, are seemingly making the correct signings to fine tune your squads, getting rid of the 'deadwood' in each etc. If you make smart signings in the summer or get someone like Sancho then that will put you on another level.
We’ve beat Chelsea three times this season...

On paper we might be evenly matched but the results can’t be ignored. We’re the better team
 

cyberman

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Its hard to assess since our season is split up in segments of injuries, signing Bruno and our defence molding together.
Its why Chelsea fans were compiling combined 11s and saying they wouldn't have Pogba and Bruno in the same side because they didnt know how they would play together. Theres 7 games left of the season and theyre saying that!
Plus Martial wouldn't get in front of Abraham but thats a joke for a different day.
 

Mr Smith

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I think Chelsea with their two new signings might be better, but it's close. Our best players are certainly better than their best.
 

Bondi77

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I reckon there is not much between us,Chelsea,Wolves and Leicester.
Wolves may have the lesser names but I think they are the more cohesive unit.
We probably have the best team on paper but the game is not played on paper and Chelsea would not be far behind and Leicester are a tight unit with probably the best striker out of the quartet.
 

Devil81

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That would be Chelsea. Though United are not far off and both should have more points based on their performances. Clearly United are better than Leicester, yes.
We've beaten Chelsea three times this season.......
 

SilentWitness

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We've beaten Chelsea three times this season.......
You've beaten City three times this season too yet OP and most others in this thread have stated that they and Liverpool are easily ahead of everyone else.
 

gica_7

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It is incredible how one addition can lift up the level of the whole squad. Some players have that aura and additions like these make "rubbish" into useful players.

Start of the season we were far from a complete squad. We still are, but the gaps seems incredibly less. A left back, a midfielder and a Sancho, we are very close to competing. I loved what I saw yesterday. Something we haven't witnessed in a while. The cohesion in attack felt something out of 07-08 season. We had some good performances but the comfort levels was so similar to the Rooney Tevez Ronaldo season.

Hope this keeps going. 3 month ago, I wouldn't mind Pogba leaving. Now I want him to stay. I want to see what I saw yesterday more often.
 

OnlyTwoDaSilvas

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We've beaten Chelsea every time we've faced them this season, something that rarely happened even pre-Roman, they've always been a bit of a bogey team. That said, they've had a little bit more consistency in the league, and their signings so far are very good. Considering they had a transfer ban and had just lost far and away their best player, they've had a good season. I am sure they will be stronger next season, so I don't think we are comfortably above the rest. United, Chelsea and Spurs are around the same level.

Leicester shouldn't be written off, they were great in the 1st half of the season. Won something like 10 in a row, but fell away a little. But if they get top 4, they'll be an attraction for next season, they could have a better squad. Their only major concern is the reliance on Vardy. Wolves are a solid side too.
 

EwanI Ted

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Based on what we've seen over the whole of the season, its fair to say that Liverpool and City are the top two, with us and Chelsea as the next two. Personally I think us and Chelsea are neck and neck. They have to travel to City and Liverpool, so by the end of the season I doubt there will be much more than 3 points between us either way. They have a bit more experience in the squad, I think we have more talent though.

Also, I just looked at Leicester's results recently, and wow they've really nose dived. Since winning 8 on the bounce last November, they've only won 4 of their last 15 games, picking up just 17 points in that time. That's barely above relegation form. And since they have Everton, Arsenal and Spurs still to play away from home, plus us at home, I'd say the top 4 is far from certain. If I had to guess, Id say that if we beat them on the last day of the season we'll finish above them, and it may not even come down to that.
 

RUCK4444

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I think on paper we are the third best in the league, when you factor form and injuries into the mix it doesn’t always end up that way once the league finishes though obviously.

However when we kick into that extra gear, that we have seen at times in the last two games, with the quality of Pogba and Bruno I think we are a level above Chelsea. It’s all about consistency now and this transfer window.

It’s so important to both sign Sancho and retain Pogba. You cannot replace the latter in my opinion, I know many would disagree.
 

gajender

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I reckon there is not much between us,Chelsea,Wolves and Leicester.
Wolves may have the lesser names but I think they are the more cohesive unit.
We probably have the best team on paper but the game is not played on paper and Chelsea would not be far behind and Leicester are a tight unit with probably the best striker out of the quartet.
Chelsea and United have underperformed this season due to various reasons this season and it seems there is lot more to come from both teams ,where as Wolves and Leicester it feels like are performing at their optimal level and they might have hit their ceiling already but that's my personal take on the prospect of all the above mentioned teams.
 

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Put it this way, I would not swap our squad with Chelsea's. Before they signed Werner and Ziyech I was thinking we would come 3rd next season but Chelsea are doing bits in the market now. They will probably get Sancho
 

DWelbz19

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It’ll definitely be between us and Chelsea for third spot next season. The top four will be the ‘top four’ once again. Wolves and Leicester will fight for that fifth place.
 

gajender

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Put it this way, I would not swap our squad with Chelsea's. Before they signed Werner and Ziyech I was thinking we would come 3rd next season but Chelsea are doing bits in the market now. They will probably get Sancho
Hands off Sancho is ours.
 

SilentWitness

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We’ve beat Chelsea three times this season...

On paper we might be evenly matched but the results can’t be ignored. We’re the better team
You've beaten City three times this season too, are you better than them? Are Watford on par with Liverpool because they have won one and lost one against them this season?