The Premier League announced the revised fixture list on Friday and our first fixture after the 2019-20 campaign restarts will be away to Tottenham Hotspur on Friday 19 June.
This fixture had been set to take place just days after football in England was suspended on 13 March.
It will be a game of huge importance for both sides as we are just three points behind Chelsea in the final Champions League spot, and Spurs themselves are four points behind us, with nine games to go.
No doubt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have his eyes on the top four and things were really starting to look good before the disruption, which finished with a 2-0 win over Manchester City at Old Trafford.
On top of that, both Chelsea and Leicester City directly above us were both dropping points. How things will have changed between then and now nobody knows.
Premier League players will have only had five weeks of training before the first round of games, and no pre-restart friendlies. When the German Bundesliga returned last month players looked far from their best for the opening couple of games.
Therefore we have to hope that Manchester United players have kept their fitness levels high, perhaps with smoothies and bowls on top of regular, individual training sessions at home over the past two-and-a-months during the suspension.
We will be able to welcome back top scorer Marcus Rashford, who was previously set to miss most of the remainder through injury. Paul Pogba is also back in training prior to the restart, having not played a single minute since the turn of the year.
Avoiding defeat in that first game back away to Jose Mourinho’s side will be huge in our race for the top four, as we’re competing with the North London side, as well as Arsenal, Sheffield United and Wolverhampton Wanderers to displace Chelsea and/or Leicester.
Five days after facing Tottenham we will be hosting the Blades themselves in a 6pm kickoff on a Wednesday. Victory in our first two games back would be huge given the position in the table of these two sides.
Sheffield United would have played an extra game than us by this point as they are away to Aston Villa on Wednesday 17 June as their game in hand. This could work out either way for us – either they’re closer to full match fitness than us, or have played too many games in too shorter time. And whilst we’re playing on Friday, their weekend game is on Sunday, away to Newcastle United. That’s an additional two days’ recovery for our players.
There’s a six-day break before we’re next in action, away to struggling Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday 30 June. Although it’s hard to predict how things will go at this stage, 7-9 points from those first three games back seems realistic.
Meanwhile, Chelsea start with a game at Aston Villa, four days after the Villans will have hosted Sheffield United. Frank Lampard’s side then host Manchester City the following Thursday, 25 June. The Blues’ third confirmed game is a London rivalry at West Ham United on Wednesday 1 July.
Prior to the first weekend of July there will be just six games left for each Premier League side and the picture will be much clearer for the top four places. At this stage, I am confident Manchester United will qualify for next season’s Champions League.