Why Manchester United are the big winners from the international break

The international break has been a perfect tonic for some of Manchester United's players who were struggling for either game time or form.

At 15 points clear, Manchester United did not really need the international break to come when it did, but they certainly will not be complaining.

For there are several reasons why the Red Devils are emerging as the real winners of the Premier League clubs when it comes to the latest round of international fixtures.

Firstly United have seen a rest period for the small group of players who are not involved for their countries. These include, controversially, Rio Ferdinand, Rafael da Silva and Ryan Giggs. The three can expect to play a prominent part over the coming fixtures as a result.

To follow that up, Robin van Persie has definitively answered questions about a 'goal drought' by scoring in consecutive matches for Holland, including a brace against Romania last night before being substituted, most notably escaping any injuries which have previously cast a shadow over his mid-season international involvements.

He was not the only striker to find the net, with Wayne Rooney doing so for England in consecutive matches, while Javier Hernandez also found the net on more than one occasion for Mexico.

Shinji Kagawa was on the scoresheet for Japan yesterday too, while the out of form Antonio Valencia reversed that trend by providing two assists against El Salvador for Ecuador. Even Ashley Young scored against San Marino - which does not really count as anything to boast of, but it will lift his flagging confidence.

So for United to welcome back three strikers into the fold in top form and full of confidence it will be a major plus for them, and having Valencia and Van Persie seemingly snap out of their poor form is even better.

Chris Smalling got some much-needed game time for his country against Montenegro, which will be of benefit with United planning to rotate their squad over Easter.

While other teams will be counting the cost of injuries or lost momentum as the Premier League resumes; United appear to be coming back leaner, stronger, and more confident than ever, which spells more trouble for the teams who stand in their path between now and the end of the season.

image: © jikatu

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