Last season Manchester United managed to win two trophies and qualify for the UEFA Champions League action. It is no secret that Jose Mourinho was not entirely happy with his squad of players, and that was evident in their style of play, number of match draws and lack of goals.
Fortunately, the club has already had the good fortune of signing three players so far this summer, Swedish defender Victor Lindelof, Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic. These signings are solid additions to the squad; even though one can argue that Victor had a poor game against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, one should allow some time for the ex-Benfica man to settle in and get familiar with the Jose’s way of playing football.
Lukaku and Matic, on the other hand, have both been off to flying starts at Old Trafford with a 4-0 win against West Ham. These two players made a huge difference to the movement and play of entire team; with a marked increase in confidence and belief which was seen all over the pitch. Matic was awarded Man of the Match, Romelu scored two goals and could have easily had a hat-trick; and even Pogba got in on the action, as he had the freedom to give a brilliant performance which saw him scoring his first goal of the new campaign.
Furthermore, Mourinho has always managed to win the title in the second season at every club he has led; which includes his two periods at Chelsea. Admittedly, he seems very much more confident this season to contest the English Premier League title; with a successful pre-season tour and with the emphatic win on Sunday.
Another factor that is The Red Devils favour, is the fact that all the top teams in the league now have more games and competitions to cope with. Last season, Manchester United played a total of 64 games, which was 17 more than Liverpool and Chelsea. This season will see seven teams being involved in European competitions; and this is certainly going to have an effect on players and how managers rotate their squad.
Looking at United’s main rivals for the title, Manchester City have strengthened their squad, but Guardiola will still have concerns over his defence. There are issues over Vincent Kompany’s fitness, and John Stone still needs to prove himself capable at this level. Liverpool still look fragile against set pieces and are unsettled with the ongoing Coutinho transfer saga.
Chelsea lost their first game of the season at home to Burnley, and Antonio Conte already has issues with regards to depth of his squad. This is now even more apparent with Cahill and Fabregas collecting red cards and their enforced absence in up-coming matches. In addition to this, lets not forget that Conte has already dispensed with the services of his star striker, Diego Costa; who seems destined for Atletico Madrid.
Spurs’ Pochettino has not strengthened his squad, and this may have an adverse impact on their season; if any of his players were to suffer any long-term injuries or suspensions. Arsenal won their opening game of the season against Leicester. Wenger’s new signing Alexandre Lacazette scored his first Premier League goal, and looked quite comfortable coping with the pace of the game. However, fans, pundits and bookmakers have all expressed concern over the lack of depth in the squad. There is also the uncertainty of what is to become of Alexis Sanchez and if he is stay at the club.
Most Likely Outcome
So, all things considered, it does seem that Manchester United and Jose Mourinho have a very good chance of winning the title. Online sports betting operators, like Sportingbet, have already assessed the situation and even though Manchester City are still favourites at 5/4; Manchester United’s odds have shorted as second favourites to 5/2.
Finally, one can expect these odds to shorten even more, especially if Jose is able to sign at least one more player to his squad. There is talk of Ivan Perisic from Inter Milan or Sergi Roberto from Barcelona coming to Old Trafford before the end of the transfer window; and if this happens, one would expect United to be strong contenders for the title.