And so today, it all begins again. For Manchester United, it’s a potentially tricky opening fixture at home to Chelsea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer begins his first full season in the Old Trafford dugout while he’ll go toe-to-toe with Frank Lampard in a battle of two absolute greats of the Premier League. It honestly couldn’t be more a more fitting way to kick things off.
Kick-off time: 16:30 UK.
TV Channel: Sky Sports.
Stadium: Old Trafford.
Referee: Anthony Taylor.
Getting off to a good start is imperative. This United team enjoyed an excellent pre-season winning six games from six. It’s now up to the lads to continue that momentum as the serious stuff gets underway.
It’s imperative that this United believe in themselves. Having the guts to do that in friendlies is one thing, but doing that against an elite Premier League team is another. You have to feel confident, though, particularly as Chelsea go into this season Eden Hazard-less.
Eric Bailly is a long-term absentee and I’ll be surprised if we see him again in 2019. Aside from him, though, Solskjaer confirmed he has a fully fit squad to choose from.
Picking the right formation and finding the correct balance between defence and attack isn’t easy. The Baby Faced Assassin has a decision to make, 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1. The latter was on full display on tour and I think we’ll see debuts for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Daniel James…
Manchester United are slight favourites, as you’d probably expect. If you fancy a Reds win you can fetch returns of 23/20 while Chelsea come in at 23/10.
Maguire to score any time has been boosted by SkyBet to 10/1, though I like Marcus Rashford to score first which brings in odds of 11/2. I’m tipping a big season for the young Mancunian.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Chelsea.
This Chelsea team still has enough attacking quality to hurt our back four, but in the end, the Reds should have enough to get all three points. Rashford and Anthony Martial will get the goals and start the season off in the perfect way.
The game is on Sky Sports, so it’ll be available on Sky Go via mobile, devices and laptops/computers (UK only, subscription required).