Manchester United's busy fixture list immediately puts reduced squad to the test

Manchester United reduced the squad size during the transfer window with Amad, Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek all leaving on loan. Mason Greenwood’s suspension also takes away another option.

A tighter knit and closer squad could work to United’s advantage, on the condition the club is not hit with an injury crisis.

Rotation and luck will be key, and the streamlined squad will be put to the test amid a busy early fixture list once games resume on Friday.

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Manchester United fixtures

United face seven fixtures this month in the FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League. This includes the re-arranged Brighton game which was postponed in December.

  • Middlesbrough (H) FA Cup, Feb 4, 8pm
  • Burnley (A) Premier League, Feb 8, 8pm
  • Southampton (H) Premier League, Feb 12, 12.30pm
  • Brighton (H) Premier League, Feb 15, 8.15pm
  • Leeds (A) Premier League, Feb 20, 2pm
  • Atletico Madrid (A) Champions League, Feb 23, 8pm
  • Watford (H) Premier League, Feb 26, 3pm

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Big players must step up

This is a packed schedule for United to negotiate and the squad’s weak areas will face an immediate test. Defensive midfield and right wing are positions where United lack depth.

It is so important that United’s top stars come through, and take responsibility at a key time. The fixture list does not get easier.

In March, United have a tougher fixtures list, with Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, Leicester and the Atletico Madrid second leg, plus a possible FA Cup fifth round tie.

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A strong February will take a little bit of pressure and desperation off in March, and leave United competitive rather than desperate.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes are United’s key contributors and they need to step up. There are big expectations on Paul Pogba too, while Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have to start pulling their weight.

The task ahead for United is huge and there is no rest ahead. Ralf Rangnick has a big task on his hands and a winning streak in February is much-needed.

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