Can Man United attack the Premier League title without defensive cover?
All eyes will be on who can mount the best title challenge to Manchester City’s centurion club this season.
Pep Guardiola’s men ran away with the league, winning 100 points. But United’s own achievement went under the radar.
Jose Mourinho guided his side to 81 points – their highest tally since they last won the title in 2012-13.
The Coral News team take a look at how well placed the Red Devils are to be a real contender this campaign…
Mourinho hasn’t been in the best of moods so far in preseason. The Portuguese manager is pining for ‘his’ players back. Citing Ashley Young, Phil Jones and Marouane Fellaini as vital to his plans.
He’s been vocal in his sympathy for Alexis Sanchez as the only attacking option in the travelling camp over in the US.
But it’s at centre-back where his problems lie. Reports claim the club drew up a nine-man shortlist to beef up their defence.
Advances for Toby Alderweireld have stalled and a move for Leicester City’s Harry Maguire has yet to happen.
Chris Smalling is at greatest risk of being ousted from Old Trafford. Mourinho likes Jones and Eric Bailly but will also want to give Victor Lindelof a chance to succeed.
They may have a world-class goalkeeper in David De Gea. But without a new defender, the chasing pack – including a new-look Liverpool – will be hot on their heels.
One area where Mourinho is well stocked is in attack. Anthony Martial could yet depart Manchester but with a revitalised Sanchez they have a potent forward.
An in-form Romelu Lukaku is just about as good as it gets up top. He will return full of confidence and ready to fire at least 25 goals this season.
If Martial does leave then Marcus Rashford will enjoy even more game time. His star is rising year after year and was part of an inspired England team this summer.
Winger Ante Rebic has been mentioned. While his compatriot Ivan Perisic is still on the agenda at Old Trafford which would only bolster a powerful front-line.
Mourinho knows his attacking options will come good but will insist he needs more than that to compete.
Big week ahead
Mourinho has said the team could be ‘in trouble’ if they don’t add to their side before the deadline on Thursday 9th August.
There’s been conflicting reports about whether the United top-brass are willing to offer funds without selling players first.
The days are slowly ticking away. Things may start getting desperate as other clubs look to increase the price of their star men.
If United are to challenge Man City’s dominance then they must strike now to get back in the game.
The inflated transfer market has almost become normal now, following Neymar’s £200 million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
Maybe £65 million for Maguire wouldn’t be bad business after all.
Man United are 7/1 to win this season’s Premier League
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing