By Andrew Hyslop
- Premier League title is surely the no.1 target for this season
- Big improvements needed in league if United are going to challenge
Manchester United haven’t won the Premier League title since the 2012/13 season. If they are to do that this season there will need to be big improvements on their Premier League form of recent seasons.
After finishing 6th in the table last season. Jose Mourinho doesn’t need anyone to tell him that United need to challenge for the title this season.
That possible title challenge will surely be helped by the arrivals of Victor Lindelof, Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic.
Mourinho is still hoping to add a fourth new addition to his squad before the transfer window closes at the end of August. With the manager looking to add a winger to his ranks.
Home Form Must Improve
It is no secret that if Manchester United are to challenge for the title they must improve their home form. Last season we saw United winning just eight of their nineteen home league fixtures.
While Jose Mourinho’s team only suffered one defeat at home, they were held to ten draws with the majority of these coming against team you would fancy them to beat.
These results meant that they picked up 34 points from a possible 57 at Old Trafford. That tally left them seventh in the home form table.
Compare their stats to Tottenham, who boasted the best home record and it doesn’t give enjoyable reading for Manchester United fans.
More Goals Needed
The 2016/17 Premier league season saw Manchester United scoring 54 goals in 38 games. Meaning out of the teams to finish in the top half, only Southampton and West Bromwich Albion scored fewer than United.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic managed seventeen goals in the league for United. Mean that the Swede was the only United player to hit double figures in the Premier League.
With the next best Premier League goals return coming from Juan Mata as he hit the back of the net on six occasions.
While the club has spent big on Lukaku, they can’t rely on the Belgium international to score all the goals for United if they are to challenge for the title.
Lukaku scored 25 for Everton in the last campaign. while a return like that will improve United’s goal return in the 2017/18 season. Mourinho will surely be looking for two or three other players to hit double figures.
Surely the likes of Mata, Martial, Pogba, Mkhitaryan and Rashford will all be looking to hit the goal trail on a regular basis.
Who Are The Title Rivals?
Tottenham have challenged for the Premier League title for the last two seasons and I would expect the North Londoners to be challenging again.
They are yet to add to their squad from last season and have lost Kyle Walker to Manchester City. Despite this I still believe they have the strongest starting eleven.
They may struggle though if they were to lose a Harry Kane or Dele Alli to a long-term injury.
One unknown for Spurs is how they will perform at Wembley Stadium. Last season saw them recorded 17 victories out of 19 games at White Hart Lane.
Chelsea finished last season as champions and I expect Antonio Conte’s team to up their challenging once again. Conte is still looking to add to his squad and is disappointed that his club let Matic leave for Old Trafford.
The final team I expect to be serious title contenders are Manchester City. Guardiola has already spent over £200 million as he looks to build his own team.
The vast majority of this money has gone on his backline. With the signing of a goalkeeper and three full-backs. These signings have seen the average age of the City squad dropping especially in those full-back areas.
Though I expect to see an improvement on last seasons 6th place finish in the Premier League. I still don’t think we have enough to be lifting the title come the end of the season.
I believe the title will be between Manchester City and Chelsea. With Manchester United and Tottenham fighting it out for third and fourth.
In the Champions League. The main aim has to be to get out of the group stages and anything beyond that is a bonus.
As for the domestic cups. Surely these will be third and fourth on the list priorities. I hope to see Jose Mourinho rotate his squad more in these games than he did in the last campaign.