Manchester United’s Top Four Odds Slashed Since Solskjaer Appointment

Manchester United’s Top Four Odds Slashed Since Solskjaer Appointment

 

 

 

It’s fair to say that since replacing Jose Mourinho in mid-December, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made a great start to life as Manchester United caretaker manager. The former striker, who is also currently the permanent manager of Norwegian side Molde, has won four games out of four so far making it a perfect festive period for the Red Devils. He has become only the second man in history to achieve that feat with United, Sir Matt Busby being the only other manager to win his first four matches at the club.

In that time United have beaten Cardiff City, Huddersfield Town, AFC Bournemouth and Newcastle United and in doing so have consolidated sixth place in the Premier League table, moving seven points ahead of nearest challengers Leicester City.

However, they still have realistic aspirations of reaching the top four and their odds to do so have been slashed since the day Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford. Bookmakers including Sky Bet are now pricing Manchester United to finish in a Champions League qualification position at 7/2, meaning that they have been more than halved from the 10/1 price that was being offered on the day of Mourinho’s dismissal.

The four wins for United, combined with each of Chelsea and Arsenal dropping points over the festive period have had a major impact on the odds shortening. Whilst United picked up 12 points, Chelsea only won two of their four matches with a defeat against Leicester City and a draw against Southampton seeing the gap between the two clubs shorten from 11 points to six. The Blues odds to reach the top four have now started to drift, going from 1/4 to 4/11.

As for Arsenal, they too dropped points on two occasions over Christmas. A heavy defeat against Liverpool came after a disappointing draw away at Brighton & Hove Albion and they now sit just three points above Solskjaer’s side. That leaves Unai Emery’s men at 5/2 to make the top four.

United are still some way off their pre-season price to finish in the top four however. In August they were as low as 2/7 and were tipped as serious title contenders – they are now 500/1 to achieve that feat. But the impact Solskjaer has made is clearly making the bookmakers think that they are now in with a chance of a top four place.

If they continue to perform as they have been then you can’t write them off. The one thing you would have to say however is that they have yet to be really tested under their new manager. That first test should come in their next Premier League outing when they face a Tottenham Hotspur side sitting in second place at the time of writing.

With Chelsea and Arsenal set to go head-to-head on 19th January, that could be another perfect opportunity for Manchester United to gain further ground on their immediate rivals if they can pass the Tottenham test.