After winning the League Cup last season, Manchester United went into the new campaign with their sights set on claiming more major silverware.
The acquisition of several new signings ramped up expectations around the club, but things have not gone to plan during the early part of the season.
United were fortunate to beat Wolverhampton Wanderers on the opening weekend of the Premier League before slipping to a disappointing defeat at Tottenham Hotspur in their second outing.
They recovered from a two-goal deficit to defeat Nottingham Forest at home, but suffered another reverse as Arsenal triumphed 3-1 at the Emirates Stadium.
The top football betting sites have been unimpressed with United’s efforts, pushing them out to 40/1 to win the league title.
The Red Devils are now a best-priced 15/8 to finish in the top four, having been odds-on in this market before a ball was kicked.
However, an argument can be made that anyone partial to football betting online should consider wagering on United to get the job done.
Injuries to key players have not helped United’s cause up to this point, while several off-field issues have also been a distraction.
The club’s away form also remains problematic and will need to be addressed by manager Erik ten Hag over the coming weeks.
A 31-game unbeaten run at Old Trafford has masked United’s issues on the road to a degree, and they need to find a way to improve away from home.
In fairness to the players, they could count themselves unfortunate not to have come away from Arsenal with at least one point.
But for the intervention of VAR, they could have snatched all three if Alejandro Garnacho’s 88th minute goal had been allowed to stand.
The Gunners took full advantage, netting two stoppage time goals to send United back home empty handed from another road trip.
Despite their current topsy-turvy form, United’s squad should be good enough to see off their main rivals for a place in the top four.
Mounting a sustained title challenge will likely be too much to ask for, particularly with Manchester City still looking a cut above everyone else in the Premier League.
While United fans may despair about seeing their local rivals dominate the league again this term, they should not give up hope of seeing the team claim silverware.
The Champions League is an achievable goal, despite the best football betting sites rating United as 20/1 shots to get their hands on the prestigious trophy.
The Red Devils should have little difficulty progressing to the last-16 after landing in Group A alongside Bayern Munich, FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray.
Bayern are their biggest threat in the group, with the latest football betting odds rating them as 1/2 shots top claim top spot.
However, it is worth noting that the Bundesliga giants are not unbeatable – as evidenced by their 4-1 aggregate defeat against Man City in last season’s quarter-final.
Regardless of what happens against Bayern, the Red Devils should finish comfortably ahead of FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray in Group A.
From there, it will be intriguing to see how the football in-play betting odds fluctuate when the draw is made for the first knockout round.
The bookies currently think United will go no further than the last eight, but they may have to reassess their position if Ten Hag’s side receive a favourable draw.
Aside from reigning champions Man City, several other teams will enter this season’s competition believing they can become European champions.
They include 14-time winners Real Madrid, whose previous record in the Champions League makes them a team to be feared.
Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona are others who could be in the mix, while it would be foolish to underestimate Napoli and Inter Milan.
Despite this, United are capable of going a long way in the Champions League if they produce their best form and get a bit of luck with the draw.
While winning the competition would be a spectacular achievement, United’s most likely route to silverware this season is winning one of the domestic cups.
The Red Devils are a best-priced 10/1 to win the FA Cup, while odds of 7/1 make them second favourites to retain the League Cup.
Given the form they produced on their way to reaching both finals last season, it would be no surprise to see them replicate the feat this time around.
Much will depend on whether their new signings can settle quickly at Old Trafford, especially striker Rasmus Hojlund.
United have been crying out for a focal point in attack and the Denmark international appears to have all the attributes needed to be a superstar for the club.
If Hojlund finds his feet and the rest of the team clicks into gear, don’t be surprised to see United end the campaign with a trophy or two in their possession.
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