Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has struggled to oversee an extended run of winning form this season but the gap to fourth-place remains an achievable six points.
Despite the highly anticipated arrival of Bruno Fernandes the Norwegian boss remains short in midfield with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay out injured, but both are set to return this before the end of the month.
United are currently enjoying their winter break which will see them have another 10 days off before they take on Chelsea on February 17, and Pogba could return.
Premier Injuries have reported that the World Cup winner is almost ready to play having undergone surgery on his ankle/foot area in January, after not featuring since the win over Newcastle in December.
McTominay will be on the sidelines for little longer after he suffered a knee injury, with his return scheduled for the visit of Watford on February 23.
Solskjaer has been open about how recent injury worries have impacted his side’s season, giving an update last week.
He said: ”It's hard to put timescales on long-term injuries, because they also need the training before they're injury free and they need to be match fit, or fitter, to be able to play.
"Paul has had his cast off and Scott's took his braces off, so at least now they can start doing work on the grass soon."
Fernandes made his debut against Wolves earlier in the month with Fred’s performances improving notably over the past few weeks.
Despite the form of the Brazilian, former United man Lee Sharpe believes that Pogba and Fernandes is a partnership that can go far.
“I think they [Fernandes-Pogba] would have a good partnership,” he told Sky Sports News.
“You would have to play them with someone who could do the defensive work. Fernandes is a natural forward-thinking midfielder.
“Going forward, I think they can cause all sorts of problems between them.
“It could be just what United need. It’s been really disappointing with no Pogba this season, I think they’ve really missed him.
“He’s got charisma on the pitch and the creativity he brings to the game – there’s a level of arrogance and ability that brings everyone up to Paul Pogba’s level.”