Scotland V England Saturday 24th February. 4:45PM. BBC One Scotland v England renew their rivalry…
Manchester United V Tottenham Hotspur
Saturday 8th August. 12:45PM. BT Sport 1
The 2015/16 Premier League season gets underway at Old Trafford as Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United face Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham in what should be a thrilling curtain raiser.
Both teams will have high aspirations for the season ahead, and winning this difficult opening fixture could form the perfect foundation for the winners to build upon.
With lots of new faces to grace the turf too, it should be an exciting contest. Who will be singing ‘Glory, Glory’ at full-time?
Can Summer Signings Help Red Devils Shine?
Louis van Gaal’s first year at Old Trafford was a rollercoaster ride, but the Red Devils eventually reached their target by securing a return to Champions League football. The Dutchman will be hoping to build on that success in 2015/16, and could send a real warning shot to his rivals with a big win here.
It’s been a summer of activity for the Red Devils, with notable transfers in both directions. It feels like Van Gaal is now getting closer to the squad that he wants to build, and the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin should offer more stability in the middle. However, the most exciting prospect has to be Memphis Depay.
If the young Dutch superstar can make the step up to replicate his form in Eredivisie last term, the Red Devils could have a new hero on their hands. Van Gaal has already seen the 21-year-old at close quarters with the national side, and was willing to let Robin van Persie exit following this acquisition, so we can expect to see a bright future for the new Manchester United wonderkid.
The Old Trafford faithful will also be pleased to hear the new Wayne Rooney is set to operate as a striker this term. The skipper is now just 20 shy of becoming the club’s all-time leading scorer, and will be hoping to eat into that target with an opening day goal against Spurs. If he’s on top form, he could be the difference.
Spurs Hoping To Cause An Opening Day Upset
It was another average season for Spurs in 2014/15 as Pochettino secured Europa League football once more. The club will hope to go close the gap on the top four this term. If anything, though, it appears as though it will only get wider. Nonetheless, they’ll be heading to Old Trafford full of opening day optimism.
The visitors do have a couple of fantastic players amongst their ranks. Deadly duo Christian Eriksen and Harry Kane can cause problems for a home defence that still looks a little vulnerable. Meanwhile, the additions of Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld should provide better cover in front of Huge Lloris’ goal. However, the Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford depending on the future of David De Gea.
Tottenham had enjoyed some decent results against Manchester United in recent seasons, but failed to find the target in either contest last year. Pochettino will be desperate to change that in this season opener.
Spurs won’t be expected to go marching on, but we have seen stranger things. You only need cast your minds back to last year’s opener between Manchester United and Swansea for confirmation.
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Manchester United V Tottenham Hotspur Betting
Manchester United have high hopes of achieving big things this term and are unsurprisingly priced at odds-on favourites at 8/13 with Bet365. Tottenham, meanwhile, are available at 9/2 to cause an opening day surprise while the draw can be backed at 14/5.
It has been an exciting summer for the Red Devils and the new signings will be desperate to prove their worth from the off. United enjoyed a very strong home form (first game aside) in 2014/15 and they should start the new campaign in similar fashion.
We’re backing the hosts to come out all guns blazing, and think it should spur them onto victory. Back them to win via a half-time advantage.
[quote_center]TIP: HT/FT: Manchester United/Manchester United @ 7/5 with William Hill[/quote_center]
While there will be a lot of excitement surround the new faces, captain Rooney is still the key to driving the Red Devils forward. The club’s most senior player will be expected to show his leaderships skills on Saturday, and we’re backing him to lead by example.
This could be a record breaking campaign for the England star, and he’d be a fitting player to get the season’s first goal.
[quote_center]TIP: Wayne Rooney to score first @ 4/1 with Paddy Power[/quote_center]