Chelsea and City are currently out in front by a large distance and are understandably favourites to take the crown, though contrary to popular belief, this year's Premier League is not yet just a duel between the two teams in blue.
This is written just in the wake of United's extremely satisfying smash-and-grab victory against Southampton. With all due respect, who knew a game against them, not even half-way through the season, could be that important, and pleasant to win?
Carrick is one of his generation's most decorated individuals. Since joining United from Tottenham in 2006, he has won five Premier League titles, two League Cups and has been a Champions League and Club World Cup winner, as well as playing in two further Champions League finals. He has the kind of top level experience that is matched by very few others...
While he perhaps does not receive the acclaim some feel he deserves, Blind is one of United's most important players at present and with the hectic festive period looming, the midfielder's absence is likely to seriously dent their chances of returning to Europe's elite competition.
Out of contract in the summer and therefore likely to be available on cut-price deals in January, here's a look at six short term options for van Gaal and United - any of which could be valuable assets over the next couple of years.
If Wayne Rooney had been Argentinian or Brazilian, he may well have been the poster boy of a football mad nation. Unfortunately for Wayne, however, he's English and gets lambasted after almost every performance.
Scotland's 1-3 loss against England was the most recent entry into the annals of brutal football slapdowns; those moments where a team gets a glimpse of success, only to see the door of fate slam shut in their face...
Manchester City won their second Premier League crown last term, but are already playing catchup in this season's title race after a string of poor results over the first three months of the campaign. But the current City team isn't alone in melting under the pressure when it comes to defending the title, with several spectacular examples over the years.
Many of the same supporters that once bemoaned his very existence are raving about the star with the famous afro. It highlights the fickle nature of the modern fan and what many couldn't or simply refused to see is that Marouane Fellaini's status as a Manchester United player actually made incredible sense from the very start.
The easy explanation of Manchester United's dramatic-fashioned equaliser against Chelsea on Sunday is to blame it on Ivanovic's dismissal. Despite the second booking obviously not was being irrelevant, José Mourinho didn't help himself through applying a zonal marking approach on set pieces.
So is he really worth it all?... If Rooney continues to score it will remain tough to drop him, but if his performances continue to wane his managers' hands may well be forced.
While not a carbon copy of Mourinho's 4-1-2-1-2, Manchester United, West Ham United, Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool have all, at one point or another deployed a diamond midfield in the 2014/15 campaign. The 4-3-1-2 allows teams to maintain numbers in the middle of the park, but means managers can field a creator in between the midfield and attack.
In a way, Louis van Gaal has a lot to thank David Moyes for. If it weren't for the Scot lowering the bar like a particularly enthusiastic assistant at a limbo dancing competition, Van Gaal would've been under much heavier fire for his side's dreadful opening month of the season.
Roy Keane was a great footballer. The absolute perfect blend of being fearless and feared. This week, extracts of his latest autobiography, The Second Half, have been released through the Great British Press. My suspicions are all but confirmed: he is an appalling human being .
Of the four, only Manchester United currently lie above Spurs - on goal difference - but they look more and more like the modern version of Ossie Ardiles's flaky 1994 Tottenham team which had the best attack in the league and the worst defence.
Despite his well documented frustration at Manchester United, the Scot is a highly respected manager with unquestioned ability. He may just be the man that Newcastle need to turn them into a consistent top-half side.