[dropcap]E[/dropcap]ach year Rant predicts the season ahead: Manchester United’s performance, the winners, the losers and stars of the campaign. There’s no science here and there have been mixed results over the years – check out 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16. and 2016/17.
Having enjoyed a good summer – both in the market and start to the new campaign – manager José Mourinho has much to be confident about this season. The expectation is that his team will build on the platform brought by victory in both the EFL Cup and the Europa League last year. Three high-quality signings in Romelu Lukaku, Victor Lindelof, and Nemanja Magic will certainly help. The acquisitions have brought greater quality and balance to Mourinho’s squad ahead of what will presumably be a more robust domestic league campaign and a tough Champions League competition.
Last season’s sixth-placed finish was hugely disappointing, albeit with the caveat that Mourinho effectively gave up on the league campaign once victory in the Europa League became a possibility. There must be a better effort this time around.
Indeed, United’s realistic ambition should stretch to a challenge for the title, with Manchester City and Chelsea presumably also in the hunt for domestic glory. Arsenal’s shambolic approach to recruitment over the summer, Liverpool’s imbalanced squad, and Tottenham Hotspur’s move to Wembley may count against each.
Elsewhere, Mourinho will be satisfied with progression to the knock-out stages of the Champions League, together with a long run in at least one domestic cup.
Add your predictions in the comments section below and we’ll revisit this post at the end of May 2018 to find out how we all did. No cash prizes – just glory to the winners, and public humiliation for everybody else.
- Premier League: second
- Champions League: quarter-final
- Capital One Cup: quarter-final
- FA Cup: winners
- Player of the Year: Paul Pogba
- Reserve Player of the Year: RoShaun Williams
- Academy Player of the Year: Angel Gomes
Premier League Top Ten
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Tottenham Hotspur
- Leicester City
- Stoke City
- Swansea City
- Brighton & Hove Albion
- Huddersfield Town
- Winners: Bayern Munich
- Runners-up: Real Madrid
- AC Milan
- Manchester United
Player of the Season
- Paul Pogba, Manchester United
Young Player of the Season
- Gabriel Jesus, Manchester City
- Frank de Boer
- Slaven Billic
- Rafael Benitez