United in seven horse race for title – Mourinho

Manchester United are one of seven clubs that could lift the Premier League trophy at the end of the season according to manager Jose Mourinho. The league is likely to be as competitive as ever this season, with Tottenham the only club out of the top 7 (including Everton) not spending large amounts of money on new signings. Mourinho highlighted the strength and competitiveness of the Premier League ahead of United’s opening fixture at home to West Ham.

“In the Premier League I’d say seven teams will fight for the title and 20 fight for the victory in every game, every match. That’s different to the three other leagues [Portugal, Italy and Spain] I have worked in. Every opponent wants to win every match, every opponent gives you a hard time.”

Many United fans feel this is the year that United should be challenging for the Premier League crown again, having not lifted the title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s last season 4 years ago. Having finished in 6th place last year, over 20 points behind leaders Chelsea, United have a large gap to close. However a positive summer window where key areas have been strengthened have left United fans optimistic over a realistic title charge under Mourinho this campaign. Jose Mourinho is a specialist in winning the domestic league title in the second season in charge of a club, a record he has kept throughout all the clubs he has managed. This is perhaps his toughest challenge yet with a huge gap to bridge and a relatively young squad, but some things are in United’s favour.

Chelsea and Liverpool, who both finished ahead of United to top 4 position last year now have to cope with European football, depending on whether Liverpool can over come Hoffenheim in their Champions League qualifying round. Having no European football was a huge advantage for these clubs who would have a full week to prepare for games unlike United who would consistently be playing Thursday/Sunday. Arsenal are a team who now have to cope with Thursday night football having missed out on the Champions League places last year, and teams who go further in the Europa League usually suffer as a consequence in the league. Spurs also have to deal with changes this year, playing at Wembley as they wait on their new stadium. New surroundings could prove tough for manager Mauricio Pochettinho who’s side struggled there in the Champions League group stage last season.

It will not be easy for Mourinho’s men to secure United’s 21st league title but with their talent and fire power the least United fans should expect this season is a serious title challenge.

Ben Parsons

Sports Writer- The United Stand

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