How Erik's Reds can prove the statisticians wrong

Saturday 24 June 2023 09:00

Manchester United already have an early objective in 2023/24 - to disprove the statisticians who claim the Reds have one of the most difficult starts in the new Premier League season.

Data experts Opta have calculated which teams have the toughest run of fixtures, according to a 'power ranking' they have applied to each club in the top flight.

In case you missed it, United will start the campaign with fixtures against Wolverhampton Wanderers (H), Tottenham Hotspur (A), Nottingham Forest (H), Arsenal (A) and Brighton & Hove Albion (H).

Opta claim that is the fourth most challenging start, with only Wolves, Bournemouth and Newcastle being handed a more difficult set of games to begin the campaign with.

Take a look here...

The Reds' opening run of five fixtures is ranked fourth most difficult by Opta.

The stats will not concern Erik ten Hag, of course. 

The Dutchman's "good is not good enough" mentality will no doubt be reiterated during our pre-season campaign, with friendlies against Leeds United, Lyon, Arsenal, Wrexham, Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Athletic Club already on the itinerary.

Ten Hag will make sure the Reds are prepared for every challenge that is thrown our way at the start of the season.

Given that three of our first five Premier League encounters in 2023/24 are at Old Trafford, the Reds will be fancied to record positive results in these fixtures.

The Theatre of Dreams proved to be a fortress in Ten Hag's debut season, with the opening-day defeat to Brighton being our only loss in 19 home league games.

But no matter what happened in the last campaign, Erik is certain to leave no stone unturned as he primes his players for that opening clash with Wolves on Monday 14 August.


14 August: United v Wolves (20:00 BST)
19 August: Tottenham v United
26 August: United v Nottingham Forest
2 September: Arsenal v United
16 September: United v Brighton

Dates and times of fixtures after 14 August are yet to be confirmed.

Click here to see our full fixture list.