Manchester United aren't anywhere close to first, yet Moyes retains hopes of the Premier League title

Manchester United not ready to give up title hopes

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Last season, Manchester United ran away with the Premier League title, taking 89 points and finishing 11 points in front of second-placed finishers Manchester City. After week 12, United never fell from first, and the title was decided on April 22, with a 3-0 victory over Aston Villa. That gave Manchester United four weeks to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view from the top of the title winners’ platform.

Fast-forward to this season. After 22 rounds, the Red Devils are in 7th, 14 points behind league leaders Arsenal and six points out of fourth, the Premier League’s last Champions League slot. They’ve just lost 3-1 to Chelsea, in a match in which United looked unlikely to threaten for the majority of the minutes. Injuries to Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney have left the squad rather toothless, while, with the exception of young Adnan Januzaj, the midfield is a mess.  Manchester United may still be in the Champions League, but they’ve been knocked out of the FA Cup by Swansea, and beaten 2-1 in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-finals by Sunderland.

David Moyes has certainly had to sail some rough waters in his first year at the helm. But the United manger isn’t prepared to give up. Instead, he’s still insisting his side have their eye on the Premier League trophy. Speaking after the Chelsea loss, Moyes said, “What we don’t do is throw the towel in until we can’t get there. The job is to finish first and we’ll try to do that.”

Perhaps hoping to placate nervous Manchester United fans, Moyes continued, saying, “This is a project. I know what I’m going to do and there will be changes as we go along the journey. It is a massive challenge. I hoped we’d be in a better position than we are, but we are not.”

While it’s nice that Moyes still retains a sense of optimism after what surely must’ve been a harrowing few months, it seems highly unlikely that Manchester United will mount a title challenge. Chelsea boss José Mourinho put things in perspective: “I am sure David won’t be upset with me if I tell the reality. It is a 14-point difference to Arsenal, then 13 to Manchester City and 12 to us. It needs three teams to almost have a collapse, so the title will be difficult for them.”

Report: David Silva out 2-3 weeks with ligament damage

LOGRONO, SPAIN - OCTOBER 09:  David Silva of Spain is fouled by Lars Gerson of Luxembourg during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier group C match between Spain and Luxembourg at Estadio Municipal Las Gaunas on October 9, 2015 in Logrono, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
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Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.

Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.

Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.

[ RELATED: Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico ]

Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.

With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.

Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.

City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.

Alejandro Bedoya to miss USMNT vs. Mexico

GLASGOW,  SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 15 :  Alejandro Bedoya of USA  in action during the International Friendly match between Scotland and USA at Hampden Park on November 15, 2013.  (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
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Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.

Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.

Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.