December is a huge month for Manchester United, more so this season than most.

Jose Mourinho’s side face some huge fixtures and have a lot of ground to make up in the Premier League.

Currently the team sit in seventh place, 14 points back from first position.

The good news is qualification to the knockout phase of the Champions League is already assured.

The fixture list

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Saturday December 1, 5.30pm: Southampton (A)

Wednesday December 5, 8pm: Arsenal (H)

Saturday December 8, 3pm: Fulham (H)

Wednesday December 12, 8pm: Valencia (A)

Sunday December 16, 4pm: Liverpool (A)

Saturday December 22, 5.30pm: Cardiff (A)

Wednesday December 26, 3pm: Huddersfield (H)

Sunday December 30, 4.30pm: Bournemouth (H)

Challenges and Jose’s promise

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Two fixtures stand out and they are the home game with Arsenal and away at Liverpool.

If United are to gain points on them, we need to get wins in both. A tricky tie away to Cardiff just before Christmas is also a potential banana skin.

Jose has promised United will be in the top four by the New Year. If that is to happen then the home form needs to be immaculate and we can only afford one defeat at the most.

Alexis Sanchez is out injured and could miss all of December, and Victor Lindelof is also out, maintaining a healthy squad will be essential.

Perhaps, December will be the month where Romelu Lukaku remembers how to score.