Manchester United are about to get their season underway. Erik Ten Hag’s team is preparing for their season opener on Monday night against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford. But before it gets to the point where we will talk about the preview of that match, it is time to make a preview of the entire season. Last season, Ten Hag’s first at the helm, was a good one. United finally won a piece of silverware, lifting the League Cup trophy, whilst also reaching the FA Cup final. The Devils also improved in the league, jumping from the sixth to the third place, and also reached the Europa League quarterfinals. While that is better than some recent seasons, Ten Hag and his team are not getting satisfied with that and they will want to make further steps forward. So where could United improve this coming season?
Goals, Goals, Goals
This was the main thing for Man United to address during the summer and it still remains to be seen whether they will be able to make considerable improvements in number of goals they will score in the next 10 months. Rasmus Hojlund joined in a 72-million-pound deal, but he not only did not get through a pre-season with the team – he will also miss the start of the campaign due to a back problem. Across the entire season, his output could be crucial.
United scored mere 58 goals last season, 30 less than Arsenal in second place, and as many as Brentford. If they manage to get into the 70s and manage to slightly lower their goals conceded (Newcastle conceded just 33, for example), they will have a great chance of improving on their 75 points won from last season.
Closing The Gap In The League
Last season, United finished 14 points behind Manchester City and nine behind Arsenal. They also had a big cushion of eight points ahead of Liverpool in fifth place, securing Champions League football. But now closing the gap to the top is where the tough job is. Arsenal invested a lot in their team and it will not be easy catching up with them for starters.
United had six matches in the league last season where they did not score, which is not ideal. However, a potentially good thing is that from 43 of their conceded goals, 13 came in just two matches against City and Liverpool. A better attitude in big matches and a more reliable attack could get United closer to the top.
A Strong Run In The Champions League
Another important thing we should not forget is that Man United are getting back to Champions League football. Instead of playing Sheriff Tiraspol and Omonia Nicosia, they will be facing Europe’s best and will be in Pot 2 at the group stage draw.
In whichever group they end up, United will be favourites for one of the top two spots. A good run and at least the quarterfinals of the Champions League will be a step forward for this team. With a good draw in the latter stages, who knows, we saw Inter this past season reaching the final after playing Porto, Benfica and Milan on their road to Istanbul.