The final game of this opening Premier League weekend takes us to Old Trafford as Manchester United play host to West Ham this afternoon. Jose Mourinho’s side have already got their season under way after their run out in the European Super Cup on Tuesday night.
That fixture however did not bring another piece of silverware for Mourinho and United as they were beaten by the unstoppable force which is Real Madrid right now. There’s no shame in saying that Los Blancos were the better side that night as they ran out 2-1 winners in Skopje, Macedonia.
There were questions marks over the performance of new signing Victor Lindelof in defence but the majority of the attention would have undoubtedly been on Belgian international Romelu Lukaku after his initial £75m transfer from Everton back in July.
He will have come away from the game with a pass mark after scoring the goal that gave United a glimmer of hope late on but arguably his performance could have been better especially when timing his runs in the final third of the pitch. The scenario where he was caught offside happened all too often.
But Today he will be unleashed on a West Ham side who have added some experienced names to their ranks and they all have a Manchester connection to the club. Defender Pablo Zabaleta and goalkeeper Joe Hart arrive after long stints at The Etihad.
The Argentine joins on a free transfer after his contract expired at the end of last season, while Hart makes the move to London by virtue of a season long loan. The pair are joined by someone who also once called Manchester home but it was Old Trafford in which he previously plied his trade.
The man in question is none other than Mexican international Javier Hernandez who joins the club from Bayer Leverkusen. It has to be said that the capture of the 29 year old was something of a coup from the East London outfit and highlights the clubs ambition for this season.
That ambition would only have been further highlighted by the capture of Marko Arnautovic from Stoke for £20m. The Austrian on his day can create a nuisance for opposition defenders, whether that day comes round often enough can be argued. But it will be interesting to see what he can do in a new environment.
Another player who will be looking to see what he can do in a new environment is Nemanja Matic as he swaps Chelsea for Manchester United. He links up once again with Jose Mourinho after his £40m move at the start of August.
The hope and expectation will be that he can unlock the key to Paul Pogba with the French international now being allowed to roam further forward safe in the knowledge that the Serbian midfielder can act as the protective screen in front of the back four.
In terms of today, it is a well known fact that Jose Mourinho’s teams always are stronger in the second season and I think they will be able to brush off their disappointment in Macedonia earlier in the week and get to a perfect start in front of their own fans. Home win for me.
Here is what social media thinks will happen at Old Trafford – you might still have time to vote as well…
— Dan Tracey (@dantracey1983) August 12, 2017