Ralf Rangnick has suffered just one defeat since his arrival at the start of December and bet365 are betting on how many points Manchester United will take from their next three Premier League games.
After Michael Carrick oversaw games against Arsenal and Chelsea, Rangnick had the friendlier fixtures against Crystal Palace and Norwich to get started.
In fact, after 13 Premier League games in charge, he’s yet to face a single ‘big six’ rival.
The fixture list is now set to take a turn for the worse though, starting with the short trip to Manchester City, before a home game with Tottenham and a trip to Anfield to face title-chasing Liverpool.
United are 13/2 to lose all three, 4/5 for 1-3 points, 7/4 for 4-6, 20/1 for 7 and 50/1 to win all three.
On the face of it, United’s results under Rangnick have been good; Wolves are the only club to take maximum points from Rangnick’s Reds, and the Old Trafford side are still very much in the hunt for a top four spot.
Only Manchester City and Liverpool have taken more points – though Arsenal’s points per game ratio is slightly better.
However, as well as an ignominious FA Cup exit to Middlesbrough, they’ve dropped points against the likes of Newcastle, Villa, Burnley, Southampton as well as Watford last weekend and we’ll get more of a feel about his impact in the next three games with trips to the Etihad and Anfield as well as a home game against Spurs sandwiched in between.
On the plus side, they have an excellent recent record at their near neighbours.
Going back to March 2016 when everything Marcus Rashford touched turned to gold, the Reds won 1-0 and held City to a 0-0 draw the following season.
With City needing a win to seal the title in the sweetest fashion against their neighbours, they threw a 2-0 half-time lead away to lose 3-2.
Pep Guardiola did get a semblance of revenge with a 3-1 win over Jose Mourinho’s side the following year, but two quick-fire goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial were enough for Ole Gunnar Solksjaer to record his first derby win in 2019.
A 1-0 win in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final wasn’t enough to see them through to the final, but Solskjaer continued his impressive record against City with an equally impressive 2-0 win last season.
Rangnick will also find optimism in City’s recent dip in form. The draw against Southampton brought their 12-match winning run to an end, before following that up with routine wins over Brentford and Norwich, however the dramatic defeat at the hands of Tottenham opened up the title race, and they could well have dropped points to Everton last Saturday.
Next week will be the visit of Tottenham, and your guess as to which side will make the trip up from London is as good as mine. Will we see the Spurs who beat City or the one who lost to Middlesbrough? Will Antonio Conte tell us it’s the best group of players he’s worked with, or threaten to leave? Volatile doesn’t quite cover the situation in North London at the moment, but when Spurs do turn up, as they’ve proved, they’re a match for anyone.
The testing spell will conclude with arguably the toughest fixture of the three against Liverpool. Aside from Jurgen Klopp’s Reds being the league’s form team at the moment, United have won just once in their last 12 league matches against Liverpool, and their form at Anfield makes from grim reading.
While they’ve managed to stifle Liverpool to nick three 0-0 draws in recent years, they’ve hardly laid a glove on their arch-rivals, scoring just once in their last five trips to Anfield, coming in Mourinho’s final Manchester United game.
And that might not change anytime soon if Cristiano Ronaldo’s form is anything to go by. The Portuguese has found goals hard to come by recently, scoring just one in his last eight Premier League outings, and bet365 have pushed out his price to score 20 or more in the top flight this season to 10/1.