MANCHESTER UNITED may have been hit by an injury crisis but it appears they do have one lucky charm: Alexis Sanchez.
I know what you’re thinking… Alexis Sanchez?! He’s been useless since he arrived – and you would certainly have a point.
But while Sanchez has struggled to score goals – or indeed do anything productive – for United this season, he does have a fine record when starting in the Premier League.
In fact, he is one of just 11 players to have started five or more league games this season and not lose.
Four of his six starts came before the end of September as Sanchez helped Jose Mourinho’s side to wins over Leicester, Burnley and Watford before the draw against Wolves.
His next start came in the win at Bournemouth in November but he did not begin a Premier League game again for three months.
Alexis Sanchez's record when starting in the Premier League this season
10/08: Won vs Leicester 2-1
02/09: Won vs Burnley 2-0
15/09: Won vs Watford 2-1
22/09: Drew vs Wolves 1-1
03/11: Won vs Bournemouth 2-1
02/03: Won vs Leicester 1-0
Sanchez, 30, started at Leicester at the beginning of February but was disappointing and was hauled off.
He has actually completed a full game just ONCE out of 21 appearances across all competitions for Manchester United this season – and that was on the opening day against the Foxes.
The Chilean has tasted defeat – against Spurs, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain – but only when he has come off the bench.
Unsurprisingly, the rest of the ‘Unbeaten XI’ compiled by WhoScored.com is dominated by Liverpool players.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have lost just once in the league this season.
Therefore some of their players on the fringe of a starting spot but didn’t begin the defeat at the Etihad on January 3 remain unbeaten in matches they have started this season.
Across the entire league, Liverpool stars Fabinho (13), Joe Gomez (12 starts), Naby Keita (12) and Xherdan Shaqiri (11) are the only players to start ten or more games this season without tasting defeat. Joel Matip (eight) is not far behind.
Elsewhere, injury-hit defenders Rob Holding (nine), Vincent Kompany (six) and Benjamin Mendy (nine) also make the cut.
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Holding’s run in the Arsenal side coincided with the club’s 22-game unbeaten run in all competitions before he suffered a major knee injury in December.
Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is often used as a substitute by Maurizio Sarri but on the six occasions he has been trusted to start from the off, Chelsea have remained unbeaten.
And the side is completed by a surprise name: Tom Heaton.
The likes of Alisson and Ederson have started all 27 of their side’s league games this season and of course with every team losing at least once this term, this rules out the ever-present stoppers.
Heaton, meanwhile, was kept out of the side by Joe Hart earlier in the season but has reclaimed his place between the sticks at Burnley in recent weeks.
From his eight games, he has won five and drawn three, conceding seven in a run which includes a trip to Old Trafford and Spurs heading to Turf Moor.