Premier League 2018/19: September Preview for Manchester United
People had started talking about Jose Mourinho's infamous "third season problems" as soon as last season ended and by the time Manchester United's preseason ended, many were not hoping to see Mourinho on the boss' chair at United for too long.
The transfer market debacle didn't help either, with Mourinho blaming Ed Woodward for failing to get his desired targets. The pre-season wasn't great either, with as many as 14 first team players missing from the action. The bookmakers even placed Mourinho on the top of their list of the manager who'll be the first one to be sacked.
Mourinho started the season, against Leicester City, and hoped to get the best out of the squad available to him. The first match seemed to be an easy win for United, with Leicester not showing much fight until the ending moments of the game.
Then came, Brighton and Hove Albion - a wake-up call to Mourinho and United that it's not going to be easy for them this season. A 3-2 loss was enough of an indication that things had to be changed.
This was followed by a visit of Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford. After starting the match well, United fell behind, just after the break, with goals from Harry Kane & Lucas Moura and finally, suffered a 3-0 demolition by the Spurs. The week ended with Manchester United sitting at 13th on the table.
Many questioned if the Special One still had it in him or not. So if Mourinho wants to save his reputation and his job, he'll need to have United pumping and rocking at all fronts, and thus, make September the most important month of this season.
United play 4 Premier League games in September and each of those fixtures are being previewed now:
September 2 - Burnley vs Man Utd (Away)
Burnley, currently placed 18th in the table, haven't started the season the way they hoped to. They've been knocked out of the Europa League qualifiers, lost two PL games and have shipped 7 goals - completely uncharacteristic from them.
Sean Dyche's men are known to be solid at the back and compact in midfield, complemented by some good counter-attacking football. This season, they've shipped 7 goals in two games, including 3 at home against Watford.
United need to show more urge and desire from this game onwards and should definitely look towards gaining maximum points from this fixture - because the Clarets are low on confidence and high on fatigue. Expect Mourinho to play a 4-3-3 and look for a victory right from the first whistle.