31/12/2012 12:37, Report by Editorial team
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Reds' New Year prospects

is the man – alongside Michael Carrick – to set it for United.

Key fixture: Derby day on 6 April. Assuming it's still a two-horse race, it's late enough in the season to have a real say on where the title ends up.

Hopes for 2013: Winning the title back has to be the top priority. Reaching the semi-final stages of the Champions League would also be nice… if only for those April evening kick-offs where the first half is played as dusk descends.

Player to watch: Shinji Kagawa. Before his injury he was United’s most exciting and consistent midfielder. I can’t wait to see what a sustained run of games will do for both his and the team’s form.

Key fixture: Call me a sentimental old fool, but I can’t wait for Real Madrid’s visit to Old Trafford in early March. Viva Ronaldo!

Hopes for 2013: Another trip to Wembley for the Champions League final would be amazing but reasserting domestic supremacy is most important to me. Yet there’s so much football to be played between now and May...

Player to watch: I’ll go for the obvious, then. Robin van Persie’s class could provide that extra percent, that vital game-breaking moment, when the title race really hots up in the coming months.

Key fixture: It’s hard to look past April’s Manchester derby. If we get past Real Madrid, it’ll be sandwiched between the two Champions League quarter-final legs. What a fortnight that could be.

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