Louis van Gaal is under pressure to deliver a top four finish after investing heavily in his Manchester United squad but his new signings will show what they are made of, starting this weekend.
Angel Di Maria, who showed glimpses of what United fans can expect this season against Burnley, will be joined in the United team for the visit of QPR by fellow new signings Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Radamel Falcao.
Shaw and Rojo are expected to make their bows after the former recovered from injury and the latter finally obtained the relevant permits to play and they will be joined by Falcao and Blind, who will drafted straight into the starting XI.
Ander Herrera, who arrived from Athletic Bilbao earlier in the summer, is also expected to feature after recovering from the knock that has left him sidelined since the opening day of the season.
Falcao and Di Maria are the signings that have grabbed most of the headlines and both players are proven operators at the top level of the game likely to give the Red Devils an instant lift.
However it is the relatively unheralded signing of Blind that could prove Van Gaal’s masterstroke as he looks to return United to the forefront of English and European football.
Blind will come into the side with a better understanding of the Dutch manager’s methods than any of the other defensive players in the squad meaning he can offer both protection and advice to the back three.
It takes little imagination to see United’s attacking players producing some fantastic football with Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Adnan Januzaj joining the new boys in the front line but United’s defence looks a little light to say the least.
Rojo’s arrival beefs it up a little but the likes of Shaw, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Tyler Blackett are still works in progress and Blind’s presence just beyond them in the holding role will allow them to grow as the season continues.
United have just two points from their opening three games but are 2/7 favourites to pick up a win against QPR on Sunday and should soon put together enough solid results to see their 14/1 title odds tumble in the coming weeks.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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