Man Utd will be champions if still in title picture after March 1

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Manchester United’s early-season fixtures have not been on the particularly taxing side in recent campaigns, but David Moyes will have to do it the hard way if he is to immediately win over the supporters at Old Trafford.

Six clubs will realistically be competing for a top-four finish next season and Moyes will face three of these in his opening five games, with Chelsea heading to Old Trafford and in between trips to Anfield and the Etihad.

Up first for Moyes though is a trip to Swansea, making this the third season in succession where Man Utd kick-off away, after a stretch of five straight season openers at home.

Man Utd have only lost four times on the opening day in the Premier League era and all of these have come away from Old Trafford.

However, they have only lost two of these since 1995, at Chelsea in the 2004/05 campaign and Everton last season.

The Capital One Cup holders should represent a tough start as the Red Devils have never scored more than once at the Liberty on their two Premier League visits.

Although it is better news that Moyes’ tactics seemed to work against Swansea at Everton, winning on his two visits to Wales with an aggregate score of 5-0.

The only other time of late when Man Utd faced two major rivals away in their opening five games came in the 2008/09 season and on that occasion they took just a combined solitary point from their trips to Liverpool and Chelsea.

With a home showdown with Crystal Palace also mixed into their first five games, Man Utd will surely be content with a minimum of nine points and given their run-in, this should offer them a decent crack at retaining the Premier League title.

It is 2/1 that Man Utd win the Premier League again and assuming they are still in the mix after hosting Man City on March 1st, it is hard not to see them picking up another title.

Their final 10 games read West Brom (a), Liverpool (h), West Ham (a), Aston Villa (h), Newcastle (a), Hull (h), Everton (a), Norwich (h), Sunderland (h) and Southampton (a).

Picking up 21+ points from this stretch is not unforeseeable, while Man City also have trips to Arsenal and Liverpool after Old Trafford, with Chelsea facing Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool in their final 10 fixtures.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.