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Friday 15 December 2017

Rashford and Martial new dynamic duo for United

Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial's fine start to the season has strengthened Bryan Robson's belief that Manchester United will seriously challenge for the Premier League crown.

Jose Mourinho's Reds head into the international break second only to Manchester City on goal difference after racking up a club record-equalling 19 points from their first seven Premier League matches.

Few had expected anything but victory against rock-bottom Crystal Palace on Saturday and so it proved, with Rashford providing two assists before his replacement Martial set up Romelu Lukaku to complete a 4-0 win.

Both Rashford and Martial have flourished in the early weeks of the season, producing the kind of displays that has increased United great Robson's hopes of this being a season to remember.

Robson said: "The one thing I felt at the start of the season was that if Rashford and Martial could start the season with a bit of confidence and improve from last year but score more goals, United have a real chance of winning the title and they can be there and thereabouts.

"That's exactly what has happened. Marcus and Martial have been scoring goals, they are looking confident.

"They are looking that little bit better, as is their understanding of the game from last season. With them two doing so well at the start of the season that holds us in good stead.

"We know what (summer signing Nemanja) Matic is all about, Lukaku was always going to score goals playing for a team like Manchester United, so the team are looking solid with pace and so the signs are looking good to challenge for the title this year."

While Martial and Rashford have an important role to play, Robson believes United also boast crucial strength in depth.

Paul Pogba has been categorised by Mourinho as a "long-term" injury absentee along with the likes of Marcos Rojo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the hamstring setback merely means the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick have come in.

"You can do without one of your better players being injured right early on in the season," Robson said.

"But this is what happens and that's why you need to have a strong squad and that's what Jose has put together."

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