Welcome to IntoTheTopCorner’s team-by-team preview to the new Barclays Premier League season. Here we look at Manchester United’s vital stats, their summer transfers and analyse their chances.
Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson.
Captain: Nemanja Vidic.
Stadium: Old Trafford (75,811).
Last season: 2nd.
Leading scorer (PL): Wayne Rooney (27).
Odds: Title 2-1. Relegation 1000-1.
In: Shinji Kagawa (£13.2m, Dortmund), Robin van Persie (£24m, Arsenal), Nick Powell (£6.6m, Crewe).
Out: Ben Amos (Loan, Hull City), Reece Brown (Loan, Coventry), John Cofie (Loan, Sheffield United), Ritchie De Laet (£1.1m, Leicester City), Fabio (Loan, Q.P.R), Matt James (£1.1m, Leicester City), Tomasz Kuszczak (Free, Brighton & Hove), Sean McGinty (Loan, Oxford), Olver Norwood (£440k, Huddersfield), Park Ji-Sing (£2.7m, Q.R.R), Paul Pogba (£800k, Juventus), Michael Owen (Released).
Key Man – Wayne Rooney
Even with the immitent arrival of Robin van Persie from Arsenal, Wayne Rooney remains the main man at Manchester United. The England international striker ended as the club’s top scorer last season and remains the man that United look for some inspiration. He will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing Euro 2012 and also win the Golden Boot for the first time this season, whilst helping United regain their Premier League crown from their city rivals.
20-Aug – Everton (A)
25-Aug – Fulham (H)
02-Sep – Southampton (A)
15-Sep – Wigan (H)
23-Sep – Liverpool (A)
29-Sep – Tottenham (H)
Probable Formation (4-4-2): De Gea; Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Kagawa, Young; Rooney, Van Persie.
Verdit: United took the title race to very last minute last season but were eventually made to pay for defeats home and away to their noisy neighbours, plus some other crucial dropped points in the run-in, especially against Everton at home. However, with City set to be distracted by their Champions League ambitions, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men could come good again when it matters. Shinji Kagawa will add extra creativity in an attacking midfield role, and with the latest capture of Robin van Persie their front-line is only rivaled by that of Man City’s. The return of Nemanja Vidic back from injury is certainly a major boost to their chances as his presence at the back was sorely missed last season. The Red Devils will definitely push the reigning Champions City all the way to the end of the season, but in the end, Mancini’s side may be just too strong for the 19 times English champions.