Manchester United: The Most Anticipated Matches of the 2012-2013 Season

Jake NisseFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2012

Manchester United: The Most Anticipated Matches of the 2012-2013 Season

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    With six points from the first three games of the season, Manchester United are off to a decent start, but they obviously have a lot of work left to do if they want to dethrone City as EPL champions.

    Few things are certain this early in the season, but with the solid play so far of City and Chelsea, it is clear that if United are to win the title, it will not be with ease.

    While this makes every game a little bit more important, the following games are the ones fans will really be waiting for.

At Liverpool, September 23

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    A perennially heated derby match, these teams have no love lost, even more so after the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra racism incident. While Liverpool have began to struggle in recent years, they have never failed to give the Reds a run for their money, gaining four points from them in 2011, and losing two one-goal games in 2012.

    For Liverpool fans, a win here could give them confidence and jump start their season into finishing in the top six, while a win for United will certainly bring them closer to where they want to be: The top of the table.

    With the recent struggles of both teams, and their longstanding rivalry, this is surely a game their fans won't want to miss.

At Chelsea, October 28, vs. Arsenal November 3

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    Although these are two separate matches, they are included in one slide due to the fact that they are both immensely important and take place in a matter of just five days. 

    While not as strong as their rivalry with Liverpool, United have formed strong rivalries with the Blues and the Gunners in recent years, always producing good, thrilling matches. 

    Facing two top-four teams in five days, United could either propel to (or near) the top of the table, or fall behind top contenders Chelsea and City, possibly making this a turning point in their season.

At Manchester City, December 8

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    Where do I begin?

    After Manchester City's first title in 44 years, the already tense rivalry became even more competitive, as they're now fighting for league honors rather than the bragging rights of two games. 

    Not only are United looking to avenge their second-placed finish, but their embarrassing 6-1 home loss as well, in which their defense was picked apart by City's playmakers. 

    Three points against their biggest rivals would be huge for bragging rights, and even bigger in their hunt for the title.

At Queens Park Rangers, February 23

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    While United fans will surely be anticipating this match, it won't be because of a longstanding rivalry or a star-studded opposition. 

    Instead, fans will be thrilled to watch this match because of a two-week period where the Reds have no EPL games. 

    I'd be lying if I told you this is going to be a great game, but fans of QPR and United alike will be happy and anxious for their teams to get back to EPL soccer.

vs. Swansea City, May 12

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    With United being one of the best teams in England (although they're not playing like it), and Swansea netting 10 goals in their first three games, this would already be a pretty decent game at this time in the year. 

    However, with this game being the second to last of the season, it could have ultimate implications. 

    If things go as planned for United, they'll be contending for a title, and if Swansea keep up their stellar play, they could very well be contending for a Europa League spot.  

    Ultimately, if the above scenarios play out, United will have no easy test in front of them, and their fans could be in for a rude surprise.