The Premier League 2018/19 campaign got underway last Friday as Manchester United took on Leicester City, whilst Man City, Tottenham, Liverpool and Chelsea were all back in action after a busy summer full of World Cup excitement.
The 2017/18 season saw both Manchester clubs finish as England’s top two teams. Although there really wasn’t much of a race as the blue side of the city ran away with the title in destructive fashion.
Will Jose Mourinho be able to close the gap on his Mancunian rivals or is Pep Guardiola plotting to repeat Premier League record-breaking history by topping the 100 points reached of last campaign?
Old Trafford was under the spotlight last Friday as the Red Devils welcomed Claud Puel’s Leciester City. It didn’t take long for United to kick-start into winning ways as newly captained Paul Pogba converted a penalty after just three minutes. Particularly in the first half United reminded us how well they are able to keep possession of the ball and dictate the rhythm of the game.
However, the second half became a more cagey affair as Leicester looked to pounce on sluggishly loose passes and lethargic build-up play as United looked out of ideas. Rather fortunately, United found themselves 2-0 to the good as Luke Shaw made the most of his rare start at left back by driving into the box, taking on the Foxes Ricardo Perriera and finishing with precision low into Schmeichel’s net. United’s two-goal cushion was undone as Jamie Vardy poached home from two yards to give Leicester a consolation.
Who’s up next?
Brighton welcome Mourinho’s side on Sunday 19th August to the Amex Stadium. United will certainly want to make up for last season’s defeat in this fixture as Brighton came away 1-0 winners. However the Seagulls turned the Amex into something of a fortress last campaign, so this promises to be a tight game for both teams.
Will we see Romelu Lukaku start up front after his rest in the Premier League opener? Mourinho will surely look to deploy his number one striker, particularly knowing Brighton hold such a robust defense and get all their men behind the ball.
Notable absentees from United’s game against Leicester such as Lingard, Valencia and Matic all look set to continue their injury-hit spells on the sidelines.
Score Prediction – Brighton 1 – 1 Manchester United