The 2018-19 Premier League season gets underway on Friday night when Manchester United take on Leicester City.
It’s been five years now since the Red Devils last won the title. They’ve not done so since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in 2013.
Jose Mourinho has been tasked with returning the club to their former glory. But odds of 9/1 suggest that is unlikely to happen this term. We’ve had a little look at why…
Man United’s first problem is the squad. Or rather, Mourinho’s dissatisfaction with it.
The Portuguese boss has cried out all summer for a centre-half, a striker and a winger. None have been forthcoming.
Jose has pretty much lambasted his entire squad, particularly the defence. He was also unimpressed with Anthony Martial’s absence to attend the birth of his child while rumours of Paul Pogba going to Barcelona continue to gather strength.
On paper the squad appears capable of pushing for a title. But the manager clearly thinks otherwise.
United’s friendlies did not go well. With Mourinho moaning that half his team was still away following their World Cup exploits, the Red Devils won just one of their six warm-up games in 90 minutes.
What’s worse, they took a 4-1 pounding by rivals Liverpool in front of 100,000 people in Michigan.
A good run of pre-season wins could have papered over the cracks and provided some much-needed momentum, but United have greatly unimpressed in the run-up to the new campaign.
Just 12 months ago, United were 3/1 second favourites to win the Premier League before a ball was kicked.
Today, the Old Trafford side have ballooned to 9/1. It’s a clear a sign as any of how United have failed to keep pace with Manchester City and Liverpool under Mourinho’s tenure.
Despite their troubles, United are a confident 4/9 to see off a Leicester side entering a post-Riyad Mahrez world.
With less than 48 hours until their season gets underway, United should have their stock in order. Most of their rivals do.
But Mourinho still doesn’t have the centre-half he craves, and he’s stuck with a squad he appears to largely detest.
Throw in a miserable pre-season and it’s clear they’re not ready whatsoever for Leicester’s arrival on Friday night.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing