Manchester United are hoping to make it four Premier League wins in a row when they face Sunderland on Boxing Day.
Jose Mourinho’s side have finally started to put a run together, and while they look far from the finished article, they can reasonably expect to challenge for the top four in the second half of the season – something which hasn’t always looked certain in recent months.
Of course, the Red Devils largely have Zlatan Ibrahimovic to thank for their impressive form, with the Swede adding his 15th and 16th goals of the campaign in the 2-0 win over West Brom.
However, club legend Rio Ferdinand has in fact suggested that three midfielders are responsible for their upturn in form.
“I don’t think Jose knew his best team for a while but in the last few games you’ve seen him consistently starting the three midfielders of Herrera, Carrick and Pogba and I think you’ve seen a better balance in the midfield, so hopefully we can start motoring on now,” he told the Mirror.
“That’s been a problem in the past in terms of working out where the balance is and who the best partnerships and combinations are, and I think he may have found that in those three.
“It frees up Paul, who’s a bit more of a maverick, and means he can roam a bit more.”
Carrick, unfortunately, isn’t a long-term solution to United’s problems, nor can he play every week due to his age and injury problems. In Pogba and Herrera, however, Mourinho may be onto something, particularly if he continues to add to his midfield over the next couple of transfer windows.
Before his injury against Tottenham, Henrikh Mkhitaryan was also in brilliant form, and United’s starting XI could be on fire when he returns.