Manchester United may well be back in the Premier League title race after coming from behind to beat West Ham 3-1 at the weekend.
The Red Devils turned things around with a superb second half showing as goals from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford delivered the three points, taking the team to just five points off the top with a game in hand.
Take a look at any bookmaker or online casino, however, and United’s odds remain relatively unchanged with most for the moment, with odds of around 20/1 or 18/1 being offered by the usual big names.
There could be real money to be made there as United continue to be ranked as outsiders by most, but there are hugely promising signs that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is turning things around at Old Trafford.
Speaking to CaughtOffside, former United midfielder Luke Chadwick expressed the view that Solskjaer’s superb work with his substitutions against West Ham may just have turned the club’s season and title hopes around.
As he did against Southampton when United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 recently, the Norwegian tactician showed his ability to adapt to a game and influence it with his changes, and it now puts the team in a surprisingly strong position considering their poor start to the campaign.
“The last two Premier League games his substitutions have completely changed the face of the game,” Chadwick said.
“Fernandes and Rashford – two important players who were maybe left out with Leipzig in mind, a game they need a result in – but he needed them on Saturday after a poor first half showing. In that last half hour we saw some incredible football and they got the result with those two playing a massive part in it.
“They’re definitely in the title race. It’s been a strange atmosphere ever since they came back from lockdown last season and I think that is making a difference to games. Anyone can beat anyone more than ever.
“If that West Ham result had gone the other way it’s a crisis again, but they had a wonderful last half-hour of the game and it’s almost changed the whole outlook of the season really.”
It’s hard to argue with Chadwick’s claims – Solskjaer truly got it right when it mattered, and there’ll surely be a renewed sense of optimism around the club now.
There have been false dawns since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, but this might well be United’s best chance due to how open the Premier League title race looks this season.
Manchester City have not been at it, Liverpool have their injury problems, and Chelsea, despite their strong start, remain a flawed side with plenty of inexperienced players and new signings still gelling.
It may well be that the biggest threat comes from Tottenham, with Jose Mourinho famously tending to do best with his teams in his second season in charge at a club.
How sweet it would be for United if they could end their title drought by pipping their unpopular former manager Mourinho to the prize come the end of this season.