The new Premier League season is now just under a week away, so it’s time to think about how the upcoming campaign will shake out.
In the build-up to the new season we’re profiling each of the 20 top-flight clubs, from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City to Premier League new boys Brighton & Hove Albion.
Our next team in the spotlight is Manchester United…
What a summer it’s been at Old Trafford.
Manager Jose Mourinho has not been shy in the transfer market and over £135m worth of reinforcements should see the Red Devils competing at the very top of the Premier League once again.
The signing of Romelu Lukaku in particular could be a seminal moment.
Belgian ace Lukaku hit 32 goals in 44 appearances last season for club and country and will be eager to dispel claims by some that he’s just a flat-track bully.
His record speaks for itself and with his capture United have a focal point up front following the exits of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney.
What could prove even more crucial is the £38m signing of Nemanja Matic from Chelsea.
The 29-year-old Serbian slots nicely in at the base of the midfield which will allow Paul Pogba to push further up the pitch and attack teams in a role in which he excelled at Juventus.
The crucial issue for Mourinho, aside from making sure his new signings all gel immediately, will be United’s form at Old Trafford.
In the Sir Alex Ferguson era the Red Devils were almost unbeatable at home.
While that fact has remained – United only lost one game at Old Trafford last season – they have struggled to put teams to bed.
A record of eight home wins and 10 draws will simply not be good enough this time around for a club with their ambitions.
If they can sort that issue out, a Premier League title push could very much be on the cards.
Manchester United – 2017-18
Key arrivals: Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, Victor Lindelof.
Key departures: Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Man to watch: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Title odds: 10/3
Best bet: Romelu Lukaku Top Premier League goalscorer @ 4/1
We say: Manchester United finally look like living up to pre-season expectations by making a real title tilt. Crucially the Red Devils now have a solid spine of the team, and with Lukaku firing up top, they shouldn’t be lacking in the goals department. In short, it’s looking good for Mourinho’s men.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing