The 2017-18 Premier League season is less than a week away from starting, with Manchester United fans rightly looking towards the new campaign with a feeling of optimism.
Jose Mourinho’s men did what was required of them last term, winning two cup competitions and booking a place in the Champions League in the process.
While the club have been in a state of flux since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement four years ago, the upcoming season is the first campaign since that expectations have been lifted to previous heights.
United have spent lavishly in the transfer market this summer and as such a Premier League title challenge is needed in 2017-18.
While Manchester City and Chelsea may well be the frontrunners with the bookmakers to become English champions, the Red Devils find themselves third favourites with the best UK betting sites to lift the crown at odds of 9/2.
Mourinho’s recruitment over the summer has been calculated and fills some of the gaps that the Portuguese coach felt needed reinforcements.
In Romelu Lukaku United have signed one of the Premier League’s most-feared centre forwards, with the Belgian’s mobility set to make the side more-dangerous in the final third.
The former Everton striker has shown that he can score consistently in English football’s top flight and he is fancied at odds of 4/1 to top the division’s goalscoring charts come next May.
Victor Lindelof will provide an extra option at centre-half, while Nemanja Matic’s addition brings steel to the centre of the park for the Old Trafford side.
Mourinho’s task is to find a working formula in his team, with the United manager guilty of considerable squad rotation last year.
If the Red Devils can forge partnerships that work, there is no reason that the club cannot be in the running for major silverware this season.
Home form will be critical in the side’s hopes of mixing it with the Premier League’s best, with United dropping far too many points at Old Trafford last term.
A more clinical edge and restoring the fear factor will be necessary for the Red Devils to be in the title running, which are mental attributes that must be dictated from Mourinho.
It is a big season for Paul Pogba also, who can become United’s driving force from the centre of the park and should be given more of a licence to get forward after Matic’s signing.
After a midweek European Super Cup clash with Real Madrid, the domestic action starts at the weekend with West Ham United the visitors to Old Trafford.
Despite the Hammers’ expansive summer in the transfer market, United are favourites to start with a win at odds of 2/7.
With games against West Ham, Swansea City, Leicester City and Stoke City first up, Mourinho’s men have the opportunity to start the campaign strongly and show that the club are set to be challengers at the top of English football once more.