Why facing Chelsea could be a perfect way to start the season for Manchester United
Photo by James Baylis via GettyImages

Why facing Chelsea could be a perfect way to start the season for Manchester United

The Red Devils will host the Blues in the marquee matchup of the opening weekend of the 2019/20 season, and it's a contest that gives United a great chance to start their campaign off on the right foot

Adnan Basic

It’s been about a month since the 2018/19 campaign came to a close, and all eyes are already firmly focused towards next season. That became abundantly clear on Thursday afternoon, as the Premier League released the official schedule for the 2019/20 season. They put up a mouthwatering fixture for the opening weekend, as Manchester United will host Chelsea at Old Trafford.

Unsettled Chelsea

It might be too early to tell, but it seems like the upcoming summer is going to be a tough one for Chelsea.

They have already lost their star player, as Eden Hazard has made his long-awaited move to Real Madrid. The Blues got plenty of money in return, but they likely aren’t going to be allowed to spend any of it anytime soon.

Chelsea were hit with a transfer ban near the end of last season, and are currently appealing the decision. If it is turned down, however, they will not be able to make any signings this transfer window. They were able to bring in American superstar Christian Pulisic, but he will be the only addition coming to Stamford Bridge this summer.

They won’t just be dealing with personnel changes either, as reports have indicated that there will be a coaching change as well. Even though Maurizio Sarri had a successful first season with Chelsea, winning the Europa League while finishing in the top four in the Premier League, it seems the Italian will be leaving the club this summer and heading to Serie A powerhouse Juventus.

That means the Blues will have to find someone to replace him, and the likely candidate to take over is current Derby County boss and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. If that move comes to fruition, it will certainly come with growing pains, and it’ll be almost impossible for him to have his team ready to go by the opening week of the season.

Buoyant United

Man U, on the other hand, should be full of confidence going into the first game of the campaign.

The promise has been made to fans before, but there’s still reason to believe the Red Devils will be making a number of signings this summer. Daniel James has already joined the club, and while the former Swansea City winger isn’t the most proven player, he’s got loads of potential.

Crystal Palace fullback Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been linked heavily with United as well. The player reportedly wants the move, and the club now just have to match the 50 million pound price tag that has been put on him.

There aren’t any more concrete rumours at the moment, but United have been linked almost every prominent player in Europe. It’s gotten to the point where fans are starting to count up how many different names have been reported, and the number is getting closer and closer to 100 as the days go on.

Obviously, the club can’t sign all of them, but there’s a high chance at least a few more stars come to Old Trafford.

They’ll also have a manager coming off his first full preseason at the club. It might’ve been a woeful end to the prior season, but supporters shouldn’t forget about how superb Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was early on. United went on a record winning streak away from home and even squeaked past Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League.

Now, with a full offseason ahead of him, the Norwegian is ready to start rebuilding the club he loves so much. It cannot be understated just how important it is to have a full preseason with a manager.

It allows the team to work on tactics and gameplans months before the season starts, and players are able to adjust their cardio levels depending on how their coach wants to play.

He’s got time, and Solskjaer should have his team ready to face Chelsea by the time the season rolls around.

A need to start well

If Manchester United want any chance of hovering around the top of the table next season, they’ll need to get off to a good start. The wheels quickly fell off the bus for Jose Mourinho last time out, and he was never able to recover.

Solskjaer is a manager who relies a lot on confidence, and if the Red Devils can pick up an opening weekend win against Chelsea, there might just be a reason to believe again at Old Trafford.