Logo Manchester United 2016-17

United’s struggles over the past three seasons is understandable. Rarely has a club not suffered when a long term manager has departed. Coming into the 25th anniversary of the Premier League, Manchester United will be hoping to challenge for their 14th Premier League and 21st English League title. Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, United have failed to challenge for the title in any of the following three seasons. The club even failed to finish among the top 4 in two of those three seasons. It’s safe to say neither David Moyes nor Louis Van Gaal were the chosen one. 

The appointment of Jose Mourinho was perhaps United’s best choice heading into the new campaign. The Portuguese manager is undoubtedly one of the greatest modern managers whose achievements speak for itself. It has to be seen how Mourinho will fare with United, a club who has underachieved over the last three seasons.

Manchester United 2016-17 Season Preview

The Special One Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho ( Pic Cou: Dailystar.co.uk)

Money Can’t buy Success. It’s a phrase that has been proven true by United’s spending spree over the last three seasons. Big money signings such as Angel Di Maria, Radamel Falcao, Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger have all failed during their time with club. With Mourinho in charge the club has once again broken the 150€ margin in adding four new faces to the squad.

Mourinho himself has a lot to prove this season. His second coming with Chelsea ended with the club sacking him 16 games into last season. Last season though can be seen as a rare anomaly where Leicester City ended up winning the league title. Coming to this season, the 53 yr old has made his intentions clear on how he expects the club to win the title this year.

In addition to the Premier League the club will be contesting in the Europa League, a competition they’ve never won before. The season promises to be one of the most hotly contested campaigns in recent memory with any many as 6 teams capable of winning the title.

The Red Devils have gotten off to a perfect start to the season. The Club won the FA Community Shield in their first competitive game under Mourinho and has followed it up with three consecutive wins in the league. United will be hoping this is just the beginning.

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Squad Breakdown

David De Gea was the subject to a transfer saga between United and Real Madrid last season [1]. The Spanish International has decided to stay put with United and will be relishing the opportunity to work under Mourinho. The club has adequate back up to De Gea in Argentine International Sergio Romero.

United have a quality defense which will be further bolstered with the arrival of Eric Bailly. He will partner Chris Smalling at the center of defense while Luke Shaw and Daley Blind start as the 1st choice right and left back respectively.

United already had a jacked up midfield before the arrival of Pogba & Mkhitaryan. The new signings should provide more attacking threat from midfield and more importantly will help Rooney move further up the pitch. Mata has had a strong start to the season and will he hoping to prove his worth in front of Mourinho who had sold him at Chelsea just a few seasons ago.

One player who has fallen out of favor at United is Bastian Schweinsteiger. The former International has been forced to train with the reserves this season and is looking for a new club. Upfront Zlatan Ibrahimovic should provide the goals and will have adequate support from youngsters Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

Manchester United 2016-17 Season Prediction

As mentioned above United have gotten off to the perfect start to the season. They’ve won their opening three games in the league and have already collected silverware by beating Leicester 2-1 to win the FA Community Shield [2].

United should have a flying start to the season but Europa League commitments will be tough for the club to juggle. Unlike previous seasons the club should make it through to atleast the semi-finals of the Europa League. The success in Europe however will hamper their title challenge in the league.

By the end of the season United will wonder who they ended up outside the top 4 despite playing some of the best football in recent memory.

Verdict: – 5th Place

Player to Watch – Manchester United 2016-17

Golden Boot Contender Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Pic Cou: gettyimages.com)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

A man who has dominated where ever he has played. Ibrahimovic comes to the Premier League having scored 51 goals in 50 games for PSG last season. Critics were pointing to how the 34 year old could struggle to cope with the fast pace of the league. The Swiss maestro though has silenced his critics with 4 goals in 4 games till now. Zlatan may not be the future of United but will definitely be United’s most lethal attacking threat this season. Ibrahimovic should be among the top 3 goal scorers in the league season.

Betting Tips – Manchester United 2016-17

1. Premier League Champions – 3.75 (Paddypower)

Contrary to our predictions, the bookies are backing United as the 2nd favorite behind City to win the title this year. They do have a talented squad and a manager who is perhaps the best tactician among the current group of Premier League managers. As to why we won’t be backing United? It’s partly due to their Europa League commitment. The club will be heading into a number of games on the back of a game on Thursday/Friday. Not a bet we would be advising but if you believe in the powers of the “Special One”, go for it.

2. Relegation – 4501.00 (188 Bet)

Nope!

3. Top 4 Finish – 1.20 (Coral)

An overwhelming favorite to make the top 4. However the odds aren’t that great even if you think they’ll make it.

4. Outside Top 4 – 5.50 (Betvictor)

Perhaps the one betting tip that we’ll probably get a lot of stick for. The lack of European action for Chelsea and Liverpool will help in having a stable season and should be among the Big 4. No brave man will bet against City finishing outside the Top 4.

It comes down to the trio of Spurs, Arsenal and United. All three along with Liverpool will be fighting it out for much of the season but Arsenal like always will sneak into the top 4 and Liverpool will surprise everyone with a title challenge.

5. PFA Player of the Year – Henrikh Mkhitaryan – 16.20 (Betfair Exchange)

Much of the attention this season has been on Ibrahimovic and Pogba. One player who has flown under the radar so far has been Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian Captain is yet to start a game for United this season but showed his worth in United’s late win over Hull on Saturday. A player you should keep an eye on and an outside pick for the PFA Player of the Year.

6. Golden Boot – Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 4.50 (Betfair)

Eredivise – Conquered

Serie A – Conquered

La Liga – Conquered

Ligue 1 – Conquered

Premier League – We can see the former Swiss International grabbing 20+ goals this season but will finish behind Sergio Aguero in the chase for the golden boot provided Aguero stays fit for the whole season.

All Odds from Oddschecker [3]

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Transfers In – Manchester United 2016-17

Transfer In

Sl No Position Player Fee – From
1 STR Zlatan Ibrahimovic Free PSG
2 MF Paul Pogba 105 million Juventus
3 MF Henrikh Mkhitaryan 30 million Borussia Dortmund
4 DF Eric Bailly 38.3 million Villarreal

Manchester United – 2015/16 Stats

Pos Team Played Won Lost Draw GD Points
5 Manchester United 38 19 10 9 +14 66

Other 2016-17 Season Preview and Betting Tips

Manchester City 2016-17 Season Prediction and Betting Tips

External Resources

[1] Skysports.com, David De Gea Transfer Saga

[2] Theguardian.com, Manchester United Win the FA Community Shield

[3] Oddschecker.com, Oddschecker Home Page