Moyes’ fixture list gripe points to some early United setbacks

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Following David Moyes’ suggestion that the random Premier League fixture generator hasn’t been quite so desultory this season, Ladbrokes have drawn up prices for how many of the opening five games Manchester United will win under his guidance.

Whether the pressure of managing at the very top is already starting to take it’s toll on the Scot, or he’s simply declaring that he won’t shy away from making the occasional absurd outburst across the course of the season by laying a marker down early doors remains to be seen, but a price of 33/1 says the Red Devils will fail to win any of their first five matches.

The defending champions begin with Swansea away followed by Chelsea at Old Trafford, they then face Liverpool at Anfield before welcoming Crystal Palace. Their short trip to Manchester City completes the gauntlet.

While it’s difficult to argue with Moyes’ claims that this is indeed a very challenging start to the season, to query whether they’ve been handed it in on account of winning the title in convincing fashion last term seems rather silly.

It could be seen as Sir Alex Ferguson’s replacement getting his excuses in early, doubting his own or his side’s ability to be enough to see off three rivals from the division’s upper echelons in such close proximity. This could be why the firm have attributed the same price – 33/1 – for United to take maximum points from these clashes.

Clearly, the bookies don’t fancy the Red Devils to navigate the choppy, early-season waters without spilling a few points. However, installing two victories from five as 7/4 favourite to Moyes’ haul seems a foolish move.

Winning at Swansea won’t be easy, but with the Welsh club’s line up set to feature a string of new names, the age-old issue of ‘gelling’ is sure to play a part and United can definitely collect three points here, while Palace at home is a guarantee.

That means they only have to beat one of Chelsea at home and Liverpool or Manchester City away – two local haunts from where they emerged victorious last time around – to see those who lump on the 2/1 offered for three early stage Moyes wins rewarded handsomely.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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