Manchester United open their Premier League season against West Ham on Sunday afternoon. Leaping from sixth place to top may appear ambitious but United are precisely that.
Jose Mourinho says more players need to chip in with goals this season if Manchester United are to challenge for the Premier League.
“We [Lukaku and Pogba] talked about it last season, wondering if one day we would play together and it’s happened this season so I’m very happy”.
Manchester City will be without midfielder Ilkay Gundogan (knee) and summer signing Benjamin Mendy (thigh).
Star man: Young, handsome, athletic, zanily coiffed, beloved of sponsors and insanely skilful, all Paul Pogba needs to become the flawless Manchester United midfielder is to actually become a bit more influential in their matches. We are involved in four competitions and step by step, match after match, we are going to fight. With these six to eight more points, our position in the table would be different. “It’s not easy. It’s very important to try to find the right solution, to try to improve the squad, to improve the quality before (we) start the season”. I expect him to keep The Terriers up – I believe he is that good.
But what of his remarkable second-season record and what it might mean for the looming campaign?
Manchester City is coming off impressive pre-season wins over Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur and would look forward to continuing their winning form.
The ABBA system is said to favour the team that goes second, as it removes the psychological disadvantage of always having to play catch-up, and it will also be used in the Checkatrade Trophy and in the EFL play-offs.
“I have a feeling that we will score early and get a good win against Brighton on Saturday”.
And yet Mourinho hinted at a formula he thinks could make the difference for United.
But even Mourinho knew deep down that his first season at the Manchester club was far from what he would have wanted.
“I am happy to be part of this group”, Silva told the club’s official website on his move to Eastlands. “I am still getting to know my team-mates”. The Australian keeper is set to make his debut in the Premier League after Brighton secured his signature at the start of the transfer window.
United are only without long-term absentees Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo for Sunday’s season opener against the Hammers, who have conducted some impressive transfer business. He was the intelligent engine of the great Chelsea teams through the 2000s, winning three league titles as well as the Champions League in 2012.
Glass half-full: Last season may have been in many ways disappointing, but when disappointment involves two cups and a 25-game unbeaten league run you can’t really grumble.