Manchester United ended the 2019-20 Premier League season with 66 points, finishing in third place ahead of Chelsea, Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers. The Red Devils went on a 14-game unbeaten streak in the English top flight, propelling them from eighth place in January to the Champions League places at the end of the season.
Manchester United's defence played a key role during the club's impressive run last season. The Old Trafford giants had the third-best defensive record in the league last season, having conceded just 36 goals in 38 games.
The Red Devils have, however, gotten off to a terrible start in their 2020-21 Premier League campaign. The 20-time champions of England currently sit in 16th place after losing two of their opening three games.
Manchester United have conceded an astonishing eleven goals in their first three fixtures, which has raised massive concerns at the club.
Manchester United's defensive pairing of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire have subsequently come in for some harsh criticism in recent weeks. Lindelof was dropped for the 6-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer preferring to play Eric Bailly.
Victor Lindelof rules out fatigue as a reason for Manchester United's poor start
Lindelof, in an interview with Aftonbladet, was unable to pinpoint the main reason behind Manchester United's poor start to the season.
The Swede was quoted saying:
"It hasn't been the best start for us in the league, I don't know what its all about. If it's because we played for a long time in Europe and didn't get the time off we usually get, is difficult to answer."
"We probably had 1-2 weeks together before the league started and we haven't got to the level we've wanted. But I think after this international break, a lot of players are back and ready to perform at the level we can."
Manchester United made it to the Europa League semi-finals last season, which is why they had very little time to rest and prepare for the new season.
According to Aftonbladet, the Red Devils had expressed their concerns over Lindelof's fitness to Sweden. However, the 26-year-old doesn't share the same concern as his employers. He said:
"Not for me personally. I have been set to play two matches in this selection( For Sweden in October. The body feels good. It's getting started now. Yesterday it felt very good in the legs anyway. If Janne wants me to play, I have absolutely no problem in playing another match."
Manchester United will face Newcastle United this weekend, and it remains to be seen if the club will be able to bounce back from their poor start. Victor Lindelof will be hoping to regain his place in the starting line-up after missing out against Spurs.Published 14 Oct 2020, 14:13 IST