Manchester United season preview 2020-21

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first full campaign at the wheel certainly had a few twists and turns.

But by the end of the journey, the consensus was that Manchester United were back on the right track. 

The challenge this season will be to maintain that momentum and improve on finishing third in the table. 

How did they perform in 2019-20?

Just four wins from the opening 14 league games meant the knives were out for Solskjaer before Christmas. 

The Norwegian then led an outstanding turnaround in fortunes at Old Trafford, only losing four of the remaining 24 fixtures as United secured a top-four finish. 

The January arrival of Bruno Fernandes (pictured above) was a key moment as he netted 12 goals and provided eight assists from the centre of midfield.

Fernandes helped turn United from underperforming also-rans into one of the league’s most exciting and dangerous sides. 

Who are the new faces?

Donny van de Beek was signed from Ajax to add more depth to an ever-improving midfield, with that £40million acquisition seemingly paving the way for fringe players such as Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira to depart. 

A long-running pursuit of Borussia Dortmund and England star Jadon Sancho has resulted in nothing but frustration so far.

But Dean Henderson is back at Old Trafford after a successful loan stint with Sheffield United and is ready to challenge under-fire David de Gea for the No1 jersey.

What is the manager saying?

“When we signed Fernandes, we knew we needed that kind of player. Now we’ve signed Donny, a type of player I felt we needed in the squad.

“He’s the type of person that will fit the culture, fit the team and will improve us next season and for years to come.

“He scores goals and we need to add goals from midfield. 

“Our forwards scored quite a few goals last season, Bruno came in and scored goals, but we need goals throughout the squad because we didn’t score enough to be challenging at the top.”

What do the fans expect?

With optimism renewed by last season’s excellent finish, United fans are bullish that their side can close the gap on Manchester City and Liverpool. 

Whether Solskjaer’s men are ready to compete for the title depends on who you ask, but another top-four finish and an improved points haul would be considered a success in most corners.

When is their first game?

United have been given an additional week of recovery as a result of their involvement in the latter stages of the Europa League.  

They host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford next Saturday in a 5.30pm kick-off live on Sky Sports. 

United generally have a favourable record against the Eagles but fell to a shock 2-1 defeat in this fixture last August.

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