Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested that clubs not playing in Europe have a ‘big advantage’ this season given the congested nature of the current campaign.
The opening weeks of the Premier League season have seen more shocks and surprises than in recent campaigns, with just five points currently separating the top half ahead of tonight’s fixtures.
Liverpool were crowned as champions last season after finishing a huge 18 points clear of runners-up Manchester City, the two sides having dominated the Premier League in recent years with the latter having won each of the previous two titles with record points totals.
Many have suggested that the unpredictable nature of the 2020/21 season will see the winning points total markedly fall, whilst last weekend was the first time in more than a decade that the division’s traditional ‘big six’ all failed to win.
Solskjaer believes that results this season prove the strength in depth of the Premier League, and has predicted more upsets after suggesting those outside of continental competition have an advantage given the relentless schedule.
“I think it’s also sign of the Premier League, the quality of the so-called lesser teams. There’s no easy game in the Premier League,” Solskjaer told a pre-match press conference.
”Then again the top teams the last few seasons have just had a knack of winning tight games instead of drawing them. With the tight schedule and whatever is happening around the world and in peoples’ and players’ lives I think yeah we’ll see this throughout this season.
”Whoever gets a midweek rest might have a big advantage, because if you play midweek every week it’s hard to have everyone 100 per cent sharp for every game.”
United will hope to avoid an upset when they travel to face Sheffield United at Bramall Lane tomorrow evening, the Blades bottom of the division having picked up just a single point from their opening 12 fixtures.