Is Yaya Toure right to write off Manchester United?

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure asserted his belief this week that title rivals Manchester United are out of the race already or, as he put it “really struggling”.

The Ivory Coast international believes Liverpool are a more genuine threat to City’s title challenge this term than the current Premier League champions – perhaps it’s purely the City man trying to ruffle some Red feathers but does he have a point?

“United will find it hard to defend the title since they have a new manager and are really struggling,” Toure explained.

"Liverpool are a big threat at the moment because they have a strong squad and their strikers — Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge — are scoring goals at will."

The Red Devils currently sit in 8th place in the league – just behind City in 7th – two points behind their Manchester rivals on 14 points after nine games played. United have lost three, drawn two and won four of their opening games so far with a chance to make it five on Saturday away at Fulham.

Last season United won the title by losing just five and drawing just five of their 38 games – that is title-winning form and consistency – winning 28 games. More importantly, however, they have lost to two of their closest rivals in Liverpool and City (as well as West Brom) and drawn with Chelsea (and Southampton) meaning they have played three rivals and not won any of those games.

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At the top of the table, Arsenal are two points clear on an unbeaten league run of eight games since their opening day defeat to Aston Villa but the Gunners have yet to play a rival other than Tottenham who came 5th place last term. They take on Liverpool this weekend, which will give a much stronger indication of both the Gunners and the Merseysiders’ genuine threat to the title.

Meanwhile, Manchester City aren’t exactly setting the world alight – under new boss Manuel Pellegrini they have played inconsistently – they’ve played very well in some games and very poorly in others and they’ve yet to find any kind of form away from home. City have lost one the same number of games as United and drawn one less – they’ve only won five games from nine and there are another 29 to go yet.

City have also lost to only one title rival – last weekend against Chelsea – they’ve lost to newly promoted Cardiff and relegation strugglers last term Aston Villa. That’s not exactly title-winning form or consistency either. Only two points separate the Manchester giants and, frankly, if United are ‘really struggling’ as Toure suggest then I’m afraid City are too. They’re both in the same boat at the moment.

image: © marc_tacoma

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