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Red Devils 2018-19


Alfrescian (Inf)
In with new (and out with old)


Aug fixtures

Friday 10th August 2018
  • Man Utd 20:00 Leicester
Sunday 19th August 2018
  • Brighton 16:00 Man Utd
Monday 27th August 2018
  • Man Utd 20:00 Tottenham
Last edited:


Alfrescian (Inf)
Transfers so far

Manchester United
Position last season: second

Transfers in: Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk) £47m, Diogo Dalot (Porto) £19m, Lee Grant (Stoke) £1.5m

Transfers out: Daley Blind (Ajax) £14m, Sam Johnstone (West Brom) £6.5m, Joe Riley (Bradford) undisclosed, Michael Carrick (retired), Dean Henderson (Sheff Utd) loan

BBC Radio Manchester's Bill Rice: "The arrival of Brazilian midfielder Fred gives United added steel and grit in midfield, and should allow Paul Pogba to flourish further upfield on his return from a successful World Cup, while teenage full-back Diogo Dalot's arrival led to Daley Blind's departure after just four Premier League starts last season.

"A commanding central defender and another hardworking wide player are the areas manager Jose Mourinho will look to strengthen, with Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld and Chelsea's Willian among the names in the frame.
"Don't rule out a statement signing too, United - having opted not to pursue re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo nine years after he left the club for Spain - would surely be near the front of the queue if Gareth Bale also decides to leave Real Madrid this summer."


Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United 1-1 Club America: Juan Mata goal earns friendly draw

Juan Mata celebrates with his teammates after scoring the equaliser in Arizona

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said Thursday's 1-1 pre-season draw with Club America in Arizona "pushed us to levels we are not prepared for".

United had to come from behind against the Mexican side as Juan Mata's 78th-minute strike cancelled out Henry Martin's opener on 59 minutes.
The Premier League side were without many key players after the World Cup.

Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku and English duo Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford were among those missing.
David de Gea, Nemanja Matic and new Brazilian signing Fred are expected to join the team next week.
Alexis Sanchez is also due to join the team shortly in the United States after resolving his visa issues.

The Chile forward, who accepted a 16-month suspended jail sentence in February for tax fraud, missed the start of the tour as he was unable to geta US visa.

Both sides had to contend with hot conditions as temperatures reached 40C, and Mourinho told MUTV: "They were a team with intensity and quality so it was a good training session for us."

red amoeba

Alfrescian (Inf)
Season haven’t start, grumpy murinho already but insurance by claiming World Cup is impacting his season preparation. Looking like we are gonna fall behind Liverpool with their purchases.
Looking like his swan song season.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Season haven’t start, grumpy murinho already but insurance by claiming World Cup is impacting his season preparation. Looking like we are gonna fall behind Liverpool with their purchases.
Looking like his swan song season.
Balls to JM. So sian of his finding faults, ad nauseam.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United consider making £65m bid for Harry Maguire
but Jose Mourinho must sell a defender first

  • Jose Mourinho retains an interest in Leicester defender Harry Maguire
  • Manchester United could offer £65million for the impressive England defender
  • Mourinho may need to sell Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly or Chris Smalling first
PUBLISHED: 15:58 BST, 21 July 2018 | UPDATED: 22:42 BST, 21 July 2018

Jose Mourinho retains an interest in Leicester defender Harry Maguire and could offer £65million for him.
The Portuguese boss wants to add a commanding centre-back to his squad this summer but will need to get one out first with Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling subject to enquiries.

Leicester will improve Maguire's wages to around £75,000 in a bid to tie him down for another season but the Foxes are wary he could depart.

Jose Mourinho retains an interest in Leicester defender Harry Maguire and could offer £65m

Claude Puel has considered potential replacements regardless with Barcelona's Yerry Mina and Gary Cahill both discussed.
Maguire was signed for £17m from Hull City last year but his value has rocketed after his stellar performances at the World Cup.
England manager Gareth Southgate is known to have first selected Maguire because of his mental toughness, so he is tailor-made for the constant big-match pressures at United.



Alfrescian (Inf)
Yet another overpriced buy?

Harry Maguire transfer: Manchester United must sell defender to fund £65million move for Leicester star
The England World Cup hero's potential arrival could mean Marcos Rojo's days at Old Trafford are numbered

Jose Mourinho must offload one of his Manchester United central defenders to clear the way for a £65million move for Harry Maguire.
England World Cup star Maguire is wanted by Mourinho, with United ready to test Leicester's resolve to keep the 25-year-old with an imminent bid.

But Mourinho has been made aware he must jettison one of his existing central defenders before trying to land Maguire, with Marcos Rojo the likely fall-guy. Rojo has yet to meet up with United on their pre-season tour of the US, despite Argentina having exited the World Cup more than three weeks ago.

The Argentina defender only signed a new deal until 2021 in March, but that move was motivated largely by United's need to protect their financial investment in him.

The Argentina defender only signed a new deal until 2021 in March, but that move was motivated largely by United's need to protect their financial investment in him.

United have been tracking Maguire since 2011, when he appeared in the FA Youth Cup final playing for Sheffield United against them at Old Trafford.

Now the Reds are ready to make their move, but with Rojo, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof already within his squad, Mourinho must trim his central defensive personnel to make space for Maguire.



Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United transfer news: Jose Mourinho wants Ante Rebic
as Willian alternative as club remain open to Gareth Bale

Mourinho is desperate to bring in a winger, but Ivan Perisic's fee has rocketed further after a stunning World Cup

Jose Mourinho is now considering alternatives to Willian, with Croatia’s World Cup star Ante Rebic the latest name to attract the Manchester United manager’s attention.

The Portuguese is determined to bring in the type of wide player he feels is essential to his system this summer and, although Willian has long been his primary target from their time together at Chelsea, the difficulty of a deal has led to United looking at other targets.

It’s just that, continuing what has already been a frustrating summer, there are similar complications with other options.

Ivan Perisic was the winger he wanted to bring in last year, but United couldn’t strike a deal with Internazionale and although Mourinho would greatly like the Croatian again, his brilliant performances at the World Cup have seen his price explode.

The club are naturally reluctant to pay a fee of what would be around £80m for a player set to turn 30 this season.

There isn’t the same reticence about Gareth Bale - who turned 29 last week - due to his “star” status and commercial value, but that is seen by many within United as more of an Ed Woodward target than a Mourinho one.

While the Portuguese would of course find great use for the Welsh star, he would still want a focus on other options. This is all also why United are looking at Perisic’s international teammate Rebic, who had a similar impact at the World Cup.

Any pursuit would not quite be as complicated as other targets, since there is now a feeling the 24-year-old could do with a step-up from Eintracht Frankfurt, though United could face competition from Bayern Munich were they to eventually make a move.



Alfrescian (Inf)
AC Milan 1-1 Manchester United (8-9 penalties): Man Utd win after 26 penalties

Joel Pereira saves a penalty in Manchester United's 9-8 shootout victory

Manchester United and AC Milan needed 26 penalties to separate them as United ran out 9-8 winners after a 1-1 draw.
Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the 12th minute before Suso equalised for Milan just three minutes later.
The match went straight to penalties after 90 minutes where Ander Herrera fired United into the lead in sudden death with his second spot-kick.

Milan's Ivorian 21-year-old Franck Kessie was unable to respond and missed the decisive kick.
After the match, United manager Jose Mourinho said he would allow defender Matteo Darmian to leave the club, but only for the "right offer".
"Darmian wants to leave and I think when a player wants to leave, if the right offer arrives, you have to be human and let the player follow his instincts," said the 55-year-old.

Anthony Martial missed Wednesday's match with AC Milan to be with his partner before the birth of his second child, and Mourinho shrugged off rumours of unrest between the Frenchman and the manager.

"I found out Martial was going to Paris when he told me three days ago," he added.
"When a man is going to be a father, in this case for the second time, and he decides that it's very important for him to go, I think nobody has the right to stop him."

Elsewhere, defender Antonio Valencia has flown home after picking up a calf injury in the draw with San Jose Earthquakes, and is likely to miss the start of the Premier League season.


red amoeba

Alfrescian (Inf)
i cannot understand the obsession over Bale. Forget it.
He is so many times injured that he will spend most of his time in the medical room.
Either its Woodward's inflated ego or Mourniho's belief that he is his answer to the PL crown.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Man Utd: Jose Mourinho hoping for one more signing before window shuts
By Simon Stone
BBC Sport in Ann Arbor

Jose Mourinho disagreed with several decisions made by the officials in Ann Arbor
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he hopes one target from the list of five options he gave the club will arrive before the 9 August transfer deadline.

Mourinho made the comment during a tetchy 10-minute post-match news conference following United's 4-1 International Champions Cup defeat by Liverpool at Ann Arbor, in which he also said:
  • If he was a fan, he would not have paid to watch these teams
  • The match against Liverpool "gave me nothing at all"
  • The referee thought he was officiating a baseball game
  • Antonio Valencia had "too much holiday" and returned from the World Cup in poor condition
Mourinho's list of transfer targets is understood to relate to central defence, an area in which he is particularly keen to strengthen.
United have been linked with Leicester's Harry Maguire and Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld, while Mourinho has expressed an interest in Real Madrid's Raphael Varane, Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng and Inter Milan's Milan Skriniar.
The Portuguese dismissed any chance of making the second signing he feels he needs.
"I would like two more players. I don't think I'm going to have two," he said. "I think it's possible I'm going to have one.
"I gave my club a list of five names a few months ago. I wait to see if it's possible to have one of these players."

'This game gave me nothing at all'

Eric Bailly took Chris Smalling's place in United's starting line-up

Mourinho warned at the start of his side's pre-season trip to the United States that his team could suffer some bad defeats.
Andreas Pereira's fine free-kick cancelled out Sadio Mane's penalty in the first half of their latest fixture, but Liverpool ran out winners as Daniel Sturridge, Sheyi Ojo and Xherdan Shaqiri found the target for Jurgen Klopp's side.
This was United's first loss of their tour, although Mourinho pointed out the vast majority of the players on show will not be part of his plans for the season ahead.

He said: "This is not even 30% of my squad. What about Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia? This is our squad."
Mourinho revealed defender Eric Bailly was not due to play but stepped in because of Chris Smalling's withdrawal with an injury sustained in the warm-up

The United manager said: "Eric just felt it wasn't fair to the other guys to throw another kid on the pitch.
"We are trying to play these matches as best we can and to avoid ugly defeats but this one gave me nothing at all."

'The referee thought it was baseball'
Jose Mourinho comforts Alexis Sanchez after the final whistle
In front of a crowd of 101,254 at the Michigan Stadium - the biggest in the United States - two penalties contributed to United's defeat
Mourinho was furious at the first, in particular, and spoke at length to the referee to explain his frustrations.
He said: "The referees came by mistake. They were called by the baseball federation and thought it was baseball but found out it was soccer.
"The atmosphere in the stadium was good but if I was them I wouldn't come. I wouldn't spend my money to see these teams."
Tickets for the match started at £58.

Mourinho denies Sanchez is unhappy
In a team lacking key senior figures, one established name who did start was Alexis Sanchez.
But the Chilean cut a frustrated figure throughout, repeatedly complaining about poor distribution.
Mourinho, though, denied Sanchez is unhappy.
"Alexis is the only attacking player we have," said the United manager. "We don't have wingers or strikers. He is the only one who is here and he is trying his best with the frustration of someone who wants more."
United complete their five-match tour against Real Madrid in Miami on Tuesday.
From the squad that started the trip, Mourinho has lost Valencia and Nemanja Matic to injury, while Anthony Martial has returned home for the birth of his child.

Speaking about Valencia, Mourinho told MUTV: "Antonio came from holiday, I think too much holiday for him, his condition was not good when he was back." Smalling and Luke Shaw are doubtful for the game against Champions League winners Real.



Alfrescian (Inf)
Jose Mourinho: What is going on - and does he want out of Man Utd?
By Simon Stone
BBC Sport

Manchester United finished 19 points behind champions Manchester City last season

A month ago, when England were looking forward to a World Cup semi-final and as pre-season training for Europe's major clubs was just getting started, Manchester United's final US tour match against Real Madrid had a major question mark over it.
Gareth Bale would be involved. But for whom?

Fast forward four weeks and, though England did not find their utopia, Bale is happy enough, laughing and joking with his Real team-mates in Miami, his short-term future at the Bernabeu assured by new coach Julen Lopetegui.
But as they prepare for Wednesday's game, the question mark over United remains. If anything, it is bigger than before.
Manager Jose Mourinho's comments in the labyrinth of rooms at the Michigan Stadium on Saturday after a 4-1 loss to Liverpool saw to that.So, it is time to ask the question. What is going on with Mourinho and Manchester United?

How long will Jose Mourinho last as Man Utd manager?

  • Choose : Gone before Christmas
    Gone before Christmas
  • Choose : He’ll carry on for now but be off within a year
    He’ll carry on for now but be off within a year
  • Choose : What's the problem? He'll be at the club for years yet
    What's the problem? He'll be at the club for years yet
  • Choose : It's just the start of a Ferguson-style dynasty
    It's just the start of a Ferguson-style dynasty

Why does Mourinho seem so unhappy?
In front of the cameras, Mourinho has not been a jovial character for some time.
Something - probably the scars of dealing with the Madrid media during his time as Real boss - happened between his first stint at Chelsea and his second. Whatever it was, it has taken away the public geniality of the self-proclaimed 'Special One'.

Nevertheless, the breadth of the targets he fired at during his tetchy 10-minute post-match news conference after the loss to Liverpool was jaw-dropping.
He lamented the absence of senior players, decried the standard of some of the younger ones who are here, wistfully reflected on a transfer target he will not get, highlighted inactivity on one he still expects to, expressed frustration at injuries, invited senior players to return to training early, and questioned why supporters would pay to watch his team.
In a less well-publicised part of his news conference, he thanked defender Eric Bailly for stepping in to replace another senior player - Chris Smalling - at the weekend, then immediately rejected the Ivorian as a leader. Speaking to United's TV station, he accused new captain Antonio Valencia of returning from his summer break out of shape. In addition, he ridiculed the standard of a referee who gave two penalties against his team.
Wide-ranging is a good description.
The key point is this: does Mourinho harbour a growing sense of genuine unhappiness at all these supposed sources of irritation, is he trying to make points, or is he attempting to deflect attention from a heavy defeat at the hands of a major rival?
If it is the last of those, it is a long-established managerial tactic. The middle one could go either way. But if it is the former, then a stereotypical full-blown third-year explosion - the type Mourinho is always so quick to reject when asked about - is on the way.

Mourinho wants two signings, but only expects one

Is his relationship with the club strained?
There are two reactions to what Mourinho did on Saturday.
One is to raise an eyebrow, say it is typical of him, express sympathy with his situation and move on.
This is exactly what a number of influential people within the club are doing. After all, the Portuguese signed a new contract in January that not only improved his terms, but extended his tenure to 2020.
The relationship between Mourinho and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has repeatedly been described as strong by both men, so, presumably, potential conflict areas within summer transfer dealings would have been covered within the negotiations. It is also probable a vision for the short-term future would have been agreed. Why would that suddenly change because one transfer target was missed - which is only what has happened in the previous two summers?
An alternative view, and there are other long-standing United figures who are leaning towards this, is Mourinho wants out, and this is the start of his exit strategy.
One thing that is certain is that, for the first time in his illustrious managerial career, Mourinho will not have Rui Faria by his side this season.
The pair have been inseparable since Mourinho appointed Faria - a man he describes as "a brother" - assistant at Uniao Leiria in 2001.
However, last season, Faria - feeling he wasn't getting to see enough of his family and exhausted by the pressures of day-to-day involvement at the very top of the game - decided to take a break.
Mourinho has opted not to bring in a direct replacement. In Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna, he has added both a club stalwart who has huge knowledge of the game and an appetite to learn, and someone whose reputation at both United and previous club Tottenham is enormous.
Given United finished last season 19 points behind arch-rivals Manchester City - whose manager Pep Guardiola vies with Mourinho for the title of greatest manager of their generation - and have not done much to suggest the gap can be closed, Saturday's comments are being interpreted by those who have adopted the exit-strategy theory as the start of a long goodbye.

Are United at risk of falling behind their rivals?
United's only significant signing so far this summer has been Brazil midfielder Fred. Another central defender is expected, although who that is remains uncertain.
Nevertheless, both men will be among the top six most expensive players United have ever bought.
Of the other four, only Argentina forward Angel di Maria is no longer at the club. In midfielder Paul Pogba and forward Anthony Martial, two remain who have not come close to performing at their top level on a consistent basis.
Mourinho was not responsible for Martial's arrival from Monaco. His view is the Frenchman goes missing at key times, hence his keenness to sign Croatia's Ivan Perisic, both last summer and this, from Inter Milan.
The 55-year-old was responsible for Bailly, fellow defender Victor Lindelof and forward Alexis Sanchez - for a combined fee of just under £100m. They are yet to make a significant impact at Old Trafford.
At the same time, there is an element of the unknown about all United's major rivals.
Manchester City's only summer signing is Riyad Mahrez, an attacking player the champions arguably do not need. Tottenham have signed no-one yet. Arsenal's most expensive addition of the brief Unai Emery era so far is Uruguay midfielder Lucas Torreira who, at £26m, cost just over half the £47m United have spent on Fred. Chelsea did not even appoint their new manager, Maurizio Sarri, until after pre-season training had started.
Of all the major clubs, Liverpool are the ones who appear to have significant forward momentum. Yet three of their four major signings - midfielders Naby Keita and Fabinho, and goalkeeper Alisson - have never played in the Premier League before.
So, while it is easy to feel United are going backwards, it can be argued that if Mourinho gets more from the players he has already invested so much in, they won't be far away from the major prizes.

What does it mean for United's season?
As with all clubs, results can quickly change perceptions.
The Red Devils open the Premier League as a whole when they entertain Leicester on 10 August.
Mourinho has already highlighted how much easier the build-up to the new campaign has been for Foxes boss Claude Puel, given so few of his players were at the World Cup in Russia.

This is true. But Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire were away with England until the semi-final stage, and Mahrez has been sold.
Will they cause an upset on the opening day? Perhaps not; it is so long since Leicester won at Old Trafford the match-winner, in 1998, was Tony Cottee.
The Foxes may have won the Premier League more recently than United, yet nothing that has happened since suggests they are close to the level Mourinho's side are capable of reaching on home soil.
After that, United have trips to Brighton and Burnley, who could be going into the game on the back of a sixth successive Thursday night appearance in the Europa League.
Between those two away fixtures is a Monday night date with Tottenham on 27 August. As well as not making a signing so far this summer, Spurs had eight players involved on the last weekend of the World Cup, compared to United's seven.
So of all the big clubs expected to be challenging for major honours, Spurs are arguably in an even worse situation than United when it comes to their preparation for what lies ahead.
As Arsenal have matches against Manchester City and Chelsea over the first two weekends, it leaves Liverpool as the only 'big-six' club who do not meet a rival before the first international break.
So, while Mourinho has legitimate grounds to grumble at the difficult build-up he is having to work around, most of his managerial adversaries are in a similar position.
By the time that Burnley trip is done and the top-flight season halts for its first international break, much more will be known about where United - and everybody else for that matter - actually are.
From there, Mourinho's pronouncements will have much more meaning.


Alfrescian (Inf)
ZINE LIVES Manchester United want Zinedine Zidane to replace Jose Mourinho if Special One leaves
Mourinho has suffered third-seasons syndrome at a number of former clubs and the Red Devils have Zidane at the top of their list of replacements

By Mike McGrath (Sun Sport)
31st July 2018, 10:30 pm

ZINEDINE ZIDANE will be top of Manchester United’s wish list if Jose Mourinho departs.
The Special One’s pre-season meltdown has shocked players and staff — plus deepened fears of him not seeing out the two years left on his contract.

Manchester United have made Zinedine Zidane their top managerial target
And, according to Old Trafford sources, the first call United would make is to Zidane.
The France legend, 46, will not cost a penny after walking out on Real Madrid following his spectacular hat-trick of Champions League titles with the Spanish giants.

ZZ heads the list of high- profile bosses available — just like Mourinho did during Dutchman Louis van Gaal’s final season at United.
Mourinho has raised tensions at the club by revealing NONE of his five summer targets have arrived to bolster a squad that failed to win a trophy and finished second in the Prem — 19 points behind Manchester City.

Manchester United's Paul Pogba parties in Hollywood with balloons and backflips
The Red Devils are worried they could lose Jose Mourinho this summer

Jose Mourinho says “I wouldn't pay to watch us after Manchester United’s defeat to Liverpool

Brazil midfielder Fred is the only arrival who will compete for a first-team place, with right-back Diogo Dalot a prospect for the future and keeper Lee Grant a back-up.
Mourinho’s negative comments during the pre-season tour in the USA are a continuation of last season’s public outbursts at his own players.

He admitted he risked losing the dressing room by blasting his squad — and some players are now convinced this will be his last campaign.
Last season ended on a sour note when Mourinho said striker Romelu Lukaku ruled himself out of starting the FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea.

Zidane won three consecutive Champions Leagues at Real, making him a prime candidate for the Old Trafford job
Lukaku was among the Belgium players Mourinho accused of “hiding” in their World Cup semi-final defeat to France, while the Portuguese was working as a pundit.
He will also be under pressure to finally get the best from £89million Paul Pogba after he starred for World Cup-winners France — in contrast to hit-and-miss displays for United.
Mourinho, 55, could now be forced to start the Premier League season against Leicester next Friday without some of his top players, who are still on holiday after Russia.

Mourinho has been complaining about a number of issues during pre-season


Alfrescian (Inf)
Good grief, #3 in pecking order (predictions for EPL champs) :thumbsdown:

Premier League 2018-19: BBC Sport pundits pick champions and top four
By Chris Bevan
BBC Sport

No team has managed a successful defence of the Premier League title since Manchester United in 2009 - but will this season be different?
That is the aim of Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, a winner of three consecutive league titles in both Spain (Barcelona, 2008-11) and Germany (Bayern Munich, 2013-16), who saw his side finish 19 points clear of the pack last time out.

But who will challenge them in 2018-19? Can big-spending Liverpool mount a serious challenge? Will Manchester United narrow the gap? Can Tottenham improve? And are Chelsea and Arsenal contenders after changing their managers in the summer?
We asked 24 BBC TV and radio pundits to pick their top four with explanations for their selections.

The predictions were made on the basis of how each squad shaped up on Wednesday, 8 August, before the opening weekend of the season, but two days before the deadline for incoming transfers and with the potential for players to leave up until the transfer window shuts in the rest of Europe at the end of August.

Predictor 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Ian Wright
LiverpoolMan CityMan UtdArsenal
Ruud GullitLiverpoolMan CityChelseaMan Utd
Martin KeownLiverpoolMan CityTottenhamMan Utd
Dion DublinMan CityMan UtdLiverpoolTottenham
Alex ScottMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdArsenal
Joleon LescottMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdArsenal
Mark LawrensonMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdArsenal
Matthew UpsonMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdArsenal
Alan ShearerMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdTottenham
Danny MurphyMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdTottenham
Pat NevinMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdTottenham
Lindsay JohnsonMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdTottenham
Charlie AdamMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdTottenham
Danny MillsMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdChelsea
Mark SchwarzerMan CityLiverpoolMan UtdChelsea
Rachel Brown-FinnisMan CityLiverpoolChelseaTottenham
Sue SmithMan CityLiverpoolChelseaTottenham
Paul InceMan CityLiverpoolChelseaMan Utd
Kevin KilbaneMan CityLiverpoolChelseaMan Utd
Stephen WarnockMan CityLiverpoolChelseaMan Utd
Jermaine JenasMan CityLiverpoolTottenhamMan Utd
Chris SuttonMan CityLiverpoolTottenhamMan Utd
Chris WaddleMan CityLiverpoolTottenhamChelsea
Leon OsmanMan CityLiverpoolTottenhamArsenal

Six teams feature in the forecasted top fours, and only Manchester City and Liverpool feature in all 24.
In terms of who will win it, Manchester City are favourites, with 21 votes. Liverpool get the other three.

Overall predicted ranking, using all BBC predictions (using system of 4 pts for a 1st place, 3 pts for 2nd, 2 pts for 3rd and 1 pt for 4th)
1. Man City
2. Liverpool
3. Man Utd
4. Tottenham
5. Chelsea
6. Arsenal
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Alfrescian (Inf)
Manchester United - lots of quality, but lacking harmony
Last season, 33% of people we asked thought United would be champions - they finished second. This time, no-one thinks they will win the title, and only one pundit - Dion Dublin - thinks they will finish second.

Dion Dublin: United have got so much quality in their squad and they definitely progressed under Jose Mourinho last season. What they are missing at the moment is harmony, but if he can find that and get all his good players smiling and happy, they will be very close.

You can listen to Dion Dublin and Conor McNamara's commentary of United's opening game of the season against Leicester on BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website on Friday. Build-up from Old Trafford starts at 18:30 BST.

Mourinho wants two signings, but only expects one

Ruud Gullit: United already had the players to challenge City last season, but they couldn't do it. So are they going to do it now? Are these players going to perform? You have to ask why so many of their players underachieved.

Chris Waddle: Jose always seems to get out of bed the wrong side every morning. He just has to get on with things and start smiling. If he does that, it will rub off on the team.

Chris Sutton: United just seem to be an unhappy camp and it all comes down to the manager. I wonder what the owners make of him telling fans not to turn up to their tour games in the United States, plus his criticism of his players and all his comments about needing new players but not getting them - he has basically been telling the centre-halves already at the club that they are hopeless.

It has resulted in a negative feeling about the club, at a time when almost every other club in the land has an air of positivity going into the new season. I think Mourinho's frustration probably comes from him looking at City and Liverpool, and the way they play, and he is probably jealous. You wonder about the impact it will have on United at the start of the season, and what it means for his own future too.

Jermaine Jenas: I don't see it ending well. There are too many internal issues with existing players, issues over their style of play, and also issues with potential signings supposedly saying they do not want to go and play there for him because of that style of play. United fans are not convinced by the football they play under him, or where they are heading under his leadership, so it is going to be an interesting few months.

Danny Mills: You have to be very careful with the way you read Mourinho because of the way he plays the media, and deflects attention from other things. Don't write them off on the back of him messing about in a press conference, saying I haven't got this or that. In fact, write them off at your peril.

Mourinho praises 'phenomenal' players during pre-season

Paul Ince: Last season, from a footballing point of view, United weren't great. Their fans were moaning that they did not attack enough and although I think Mourinho has tried to address that, they really need to hit the ground running this time.

The signs are not great, though. Everything should be geared towards the first game of the season but instead it is all about Mourinho. There are some positives, and I am expecting a big season from Paul Pogba after his World Cup, but I definitely think they need another striker as back-up to Romelu Lukaku - someone in a similar mould to the Belgian.

Ian Wright: It is blatantly obvious that United need central defenders, which is why he has shown an interest in Leicester's Harry Maguire and Tottenham's Toby Alderweireld. I am not sure whether he will get either of them before Thursday's deadline though.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Opener tonight home to Foxes, how?

Midfielder Fred was Manchester United's main summer signing for a reported £52.7m

Summer signing Fred is expected to make his Manchester United debut on Friday but several other players are missing.
Antonio Valencia, Marcos Rojo, Diogo Dalot, Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic are all injured, while Jose Mourinho will check on the fitness of those who returned late from the World Cup.
Leicester manager Claude Puel must similarly decide whether to include Jamie Vardy and Harry Maguire.
New signings Jonny Evans and James Maddison are available after injuries.
Demarai Gray is also fit, while Ricardo Pereira and Rachid Ghezzal could be involved.

Martin Fisher: Jose Mourinho rarely smiled last season and his expression hasn't changed after a summer of frustration.
Several transfer targets were identified but failed to materialise and it seems the United boss doesn't fancy his chances of closing the considerable gap on Champions City with the pool of players left at Old Trafford.
Leicester have finally cashed in on Riyad Mahrez but they've shown characteristic resolve to rebuff United's interest in Harry Maguire.
The England World Cup hero only returned to training on Monday but is still in line to start. Jamie Vardy is less likely, as Kelechi Iheanacho has been scoring goals aplenty in pre-season.

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: "Now it's serious stuff. It's not anymore about friendlies, it's not anymore about preparation, it's about points.
"Any point can be crucial - you don't know what is going to happen at the end of the season. You have to try your best to get points and even with the difficulties that we had with our pre-season, now I don't think is the time to be speaking about that.
"It's time just to say 'tomorrow we have a Premier League match' and we have to play to win it."
Leicester manager Claude Puel: "We lost Riyad Mahrez, who was a very valuable player for us, so it was important to keep our best players and have good additions to the squad.
"We have to prepare for this season with good possibilities."


Their tally of opening victories is a Premier League record


  • Leicester have won only three of their 44 top-flight away matches against Manchester United. Their only Premier League victory at Old Trafford came in February 1998 when Tony Cottee scored the solitary goal.
  • Manchester United have won 13 and drawn four of the subsequent 18 league meetings, with Leicester 5-3 victors at home in 2014.
Manchester United
  • United have won their opening Premier League match on an unrivalled 17 occasions. Their only opening-day defeat at Old Trafford in 14 games came against Swansea in 2014.
  • Jose Mourinho has never lost on the opening day of a Premier League campaign, winning eight and drawing one.
  • Manchester United won all 21 Premier League matches in which they scored first last season.
  • The 19 clean sheets kept by United in 2017-18 was the most in the division.
  • However, Mourinho failed to win the league title in his second season at a club for the first time in his managerial career.
Leicester City
  • The Foxes have won their opening Premier League fixture in only one of the past nine attempts - beating Sunderland 4-2 in 2015.
  • They have not started a top-flight campaign with an away victory since beating Aston Villa in 1933.
  • Leicester won five of their first eight league games under Claude Puel, but only recorded the same number of victories in their remaining 21 fixtures last season.
  • Puel's side scored with 13.3% of their attempts on goal in the league, a conversion rate bettered only by champions Manchester City in 2017-18.
  • Jamie Vardy scored against each of the top six last season, the first player to do so against those teams in a single Premier League campaign. He became the first Leicester City player to score 20 goals or more in two top-flight seasons since Gary Lineker in 1983-84 and 1984-85.


Alfrescian (Inf)
Opener: MU 2- Foxes 1

Paul Pogba also scored in his previous game - the World Cup final

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho praised Paul Pogba for "putting himself forward for the team" after he captained the side and scored the opening goal in the win over Leicester City on the first day of the Premier League season.
Pogba - linked with Barcelona this summer - was a surprise starter only four days after his return to training, having won the World Cup with France just under a month ago.

The hosts made a flying start at Old Trafford, winning a penalty in the second minute when Daniel Amartey handled Alexis Sanchez's deflected shot.
Pogba stepped up and, after a typically nonchalant slow run-up, placed the ball in the top-right corner above Kasper Schmeichel.
Left-back Luke Shaw then scored the first senior goal of his career after controlling Juan Mata's aerial pass to double their lead.
Substitute Jamie Vardy headed a late consolation for Leicester after Ricardo Perreira's cross had hit a post, and Foxes goalkeeper Schmeichel came forward for an injury-time corner but his header went wide.

Pogba lasted 84 minutes before being replaced by Marouane Fellaini, but Mourinho said he did not expect the Frenchman to play for so long.
"We thought maximum 60 minutes but he managed over 80," said the United boss. "The decision belonged to Paul. I asked him and he made himself available and he was very good.
"Paul's contribution was amazing but the fuel was disappearing."

Pogba steals the headlines
Pogba brought his World Cup form into the opening stages, producing a couple of excellent early passes before the opening goal.
A penalty was fairly awarded with Amartey's arm high when he handled - although the video assistant referee was not an option to review the decision, with the Premier League the only one of Europe's top five leagues not using the system this year.
Pogba - with two stars shaved into his scalp to celebrate France's second World Cup win - had a brief word with Alexis Sanchez before deciding to take the kick himself.
After an unusual staggered run-up, he scored, although his celebrations were muted. He has now scored in his last two games - his previous match being the World Cup final when he was on target in a 4-2 win over Croatia.
By the time he was replaced by Fellaini in the latter stages, at 2-0 up and seemingly safe, he had touched the ball more times and played more passes than any of his team-mates.
He came off to handshakes from the bench after a good job well done.
"I didn't have any pre-season games, I came back on Monday so it was very hard for the legs," said Pogba.
"Winning the World Cup is in the past. I like challenges, I want to progress and win more trophies."

How did United's unfamiliar faces do?

Fred, 25, spent five years in Ukraine before moving to United this summer

United got their season off to a winning start but their performance, after a promising opening, left plenty of questions unanswered.
Mourinho has appeared grumpy all summer after failing to sign any of his centre-back targets - including Leicester's Harry Maguire, who played the full 90 minutes at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils fielded an unfamiliar back four, with Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof - who played a total of 99 minutes together last season - in the centre and Shaw and Matteo Darmian on the sides. Both centre-backs did well to deal with the threat of bustling Leicester forward Kelechi Iheanacho, although Darmian was given a torrid time by Demarai Gray in the first half.

Shaw took advantage of his chance with his first goal since England Under-17s' 4-0 win over Lithuania in 2011. He took on Mata's high pass, beat Ricardo and then poked the ball beyond Schmeichel.
"Luke's game was very complete, even if I forget the goal," said Mourinho. "He made maybe one mistake defensively in the whole match and the linesman could have helped him with a free-kick. He just has to keep going."

Shaw's performance 'very complete' - Mourinho
Shaw - who has had a difficult time at United - said: "I don't want to speak too soon after one game but I want to be up there with the best left-backs in the world. I have the foundations to do that here with the manager and my team-mates."
Fred, a £47m signing from Shakhtar Donetsk, was United's only debutant and looked solid - with passing accuracy of 92.3% - although he was booked for fouling James Maddison.
He was partnered in midfield by fellow Brazilian Andreas Pereira, who also turned in a steady performance on his first Premier League start.
Marcus Rashford started up front, with Romelu Lukaku on the bench, although he did not have a single touch in the box or attempt a shot.

Man of the match - Paul Pogba

Pogba cannot be fully fit after no pre-season games and less than a week of training, but the French World Cup winner was still the game's key player
'We deserved a minimum of a draw' - what they said
Former United boss David Moyes on BBC Radio 5 live: "If you were picking the fixtures for United in the first nine or 10 games, you're not playing City, United, Chelsea. I wonder with Jose's words the other day - 'let's wait until November' - I'd be very surprised if United weren't top of the league come the end of November."
Leicester boss Claude Puel to BBC Sport: "It was a good game, a good performance from my team. Certainly we lacked more energy in the second half. That's normal for the first game.
"We conceded an early goal, it was harsh. It was not a good result but it's a good performance. We gave our best against a great team. We deserved a different result - we deserved a minimum of a draw."

Match stats - Pogba's joint record with Babel
  • Manchester United have won on the opening day in each of their past four seasons, their joint-longest run in the Premier League (also four in a row between 2000-01 and 2003-04).
  • Leicester are winless in their past 16 away top-flight matches on the opening day of the season (D8 L8) since a 3-2 win at Aston Villa in August 1933.
  • United have won eight of their past nine home Premier League games against Leicester (D1), winning all three under manager Jose Mourinho.
  • Mourinho is unbeaten in all 18 of his opening league matches of a season as a manager (W11 D7), winning nine of his 10 in the Premier League (D1).
  • Pogba has scored in 11 Premier League games and ended on the winning side in all of them - a joint record he shares with former Liverpool player Ryan Babel.
  • Leicester have conceded the first goal of the Premier League season in each of the last three seasons, also doing so in 2016-17 against Hull City and 2017-18 against Arsenal.
  • Pogba's goal inside three minutes was Manchester United's fastest goal scored in a Premier League season - the previous fastest was Dwight Yorke after seven minutes against Everton in 1999-2000.
  • Shaw registered his first senior goal in his 134th appearance in all competitions (67 games each for Southampton and Man Utd).
  • Vardy has now ended on the losing side in four of the past five Premier League matches in which he's found the net (W1).
What's next?
United go to Brighton next Sunday (16:00 BST) in the second round of games, with Leicester hosting promoted Wolves on Saturday (15:00 BST).