For a team that traditionally kicks into gear in the second half of the Premier League season, Manchester United can have few complaints about their progress so far. We are only in January and already Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have built up a healthy lead at the top of the table after winning 18 of their 23 games so far, drawing twice and losing just three times.

They have also banged in a sensational 57 goals in the league, more than anyone else in the division.

They do however have the worst defensive record out of any team in the top four, and have given their fans a scare on more than one occasion by rescuing victory from some fairly hairy looking situations this season.

Yes they lead the Premier League by five points, with the champions Manchester City trailing in second place.

That lead was a much healthier looking seven points last weekend, but a 1-1 draw with Tottenham at White Hart Lane coupled with Man City’s 2-0 victory over Fulham means United’s lead has been eroded.

We all remember the last time United led City by a seemingly insurmountable number of points last season. Eight points was the margin then, and Ferguson’s men would contrive to throw that away to lose their crown on goal difference on the final day of the season.

To avoid similar disappointment, here’s 5 players Ferguson should sign to kill off the title race.

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This article was first posted on January 25, 2013