The self-anointed ‘Special One’ has taken over the reins at Manchester United and got down to business, immediately restructuring the squad to suit his managerial style. He has already added a host of new players to the squad and the calibre of players he has signed indicate that they will likely feature in the starting eleven. Mourinho will be wary of changing the core too much and will look to amalgamate his new signings into the team and hope it will be a smooth transition.
While Manchester United with their superstars and star manager will be expected to walk away with the title, the ground reality is a whole lot different. All the teams have strengthened considerably and the difference in quality within the teams has decreased drastically over the years. And if pre-season has been anything to go by the players need to get back to shape quickly to adjust to the new manager’s ethos and tactics.
Manchester United got off to a promising start in their first match of the pre-season with a 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic but slumped to a demoralizing 1-4 defeat at the hands of German powerhouse Borussia Dortmund. While the Germans were playing their 5th game of pre-season, United were on their second assignment and the difference in fitness levels and match sharpness was clearly visible from the off.
Though the defeat acts as a leveler, Manchester United cannot afford to dwell on it for too long. And after the Manchester derby got called off due to unfit playing conditions, Mourinho will realise the need to put the late arrivals through the paces and give them some playing time to get adjusted after a summer break.
United are due to face Turkish giants Galatasaray tomorrow in Gothenburg, Sweden. The match will be played in the Ullevi Stadium and it is widely expected to be the current marquee signing Zlatan Ibrahimović’s first game in a United shirt and the game has understandably gained a lot of significance.
Stars such as Rooney, Martial, Matteo Darmian and Morgan Schneiderlin are back and will look to play a part in proceedings. But Schweinsteiger and Fosu-Mensah have been conspicuous by their absence which might hint at exits in the near future. Smalling is reportedly injured and hence will miss out. Darmian will probably see some action from the bench later on while it’s the same for Martial. De Gea is expected to start in goal.
Manchester United will most likely line-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation and will probably look like,