Now the new era can finally begin for United against QPR
Manchester United have never lost to QPR in the Premier League era in all competitions, winning 12 out of the 14 games, and are overwhelming odds-on favourites for victory again at 2/7.
The Red Devils have also beaten them in each of their last six meetings, with four of them being to nil. They are odds-on at 10/11 to win without conceding again.
Louis van Gaal has certainly splashed the cash this summer, and it looks as if three of those will make their competitive debuts in defence due to injuries to Phil Jones (out for a month with torn hamstring) and Chris Smalling. Left-sided trio Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind and Luke Shaw could all start, alongside Jonny Evans, in a new-look back five.
All eyes, however, will be on United’s attack. Summer signings Angel Di Maria (7/4 to score anytime) and Radamel Falcao, available at a Coral match special of 7/2 score first (max stake £20), are set to feature alongside Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata. Ander Herrera is also expected to return.
So, with a new defence, and mouth-watering attack, expect goals at both ends for United. A punt at a 4-2 Red Devils victory is a tasty 45/1 price.
United, though, have begun the season in shaky fashion and without a win. After much hype and anticipation ahead of Van Gaal’s new era, they lost at Old Trafford to Swansea City, before drawing their next two with unfancied Sunderland and Burnley. QPR, therefore, are 9/1 chances to take advantage and beat them for the first them since 1992. A draw is 5/1.
Red Devils fans can ease their fears, though, with the fact that the last time they gained two points from their opening three league games in 2007/08, they went on to win the Premier League and Champions League. With nothing but the top-flight to concentrate on now until the New Year, due to their embarrassing Capital One Cup exit, take enticing odds of 14/1 for them to reclaim the title from neighbours Man City.
New Hoops recruit and Old Trafford legend Rio Ferdinand will face his old club for the first time since leaving on a free transfer, and has spoken about his former club’s poor start.
“I have to be honest, pre-season I was really excited for Man Utd,” he said. “They looked really fit, really decisive, and looked like they had a good understanding of the system. But it was almost like a reversal once the season started.
“I think they will get it right – I think the manager who’s there now gets things right. I have every confidence he will bring back good times, it’s just a matter of how long it takes.
“It’s going to be emotional really,” Ferdinand added. “I had great years there and really good times but I never got to say bye when I left which was unfortunate. So it will be a nice opportunity to say bye to all the people that supported me.”
On QPR’s chances this term, he said: “It’s all about survival this season. No bus parades or silverware. Just staying in the league is the expectation, that’s what the club needs.”
The Hoops (7/4 for relegation) will no longer be able to rely on forward Loic Remy, who joined Chelsea this summer, but will be hoping Charlie Austin and Eduardo Vargas can bang in the goals this term. They are both 7/2 in the anytime scorer market against United.
QPR boss Harry Redknapp could be without stand-in captain Joey Barton, though, but could hand debuts to fellow midfielders Sandro and Niko Kranjcar.