Manchester United’s fixtures were announced on Thursday, with the first game set to take place on September 19.
It can help United to face two teams in the opening matches who we played against in the successful post-lockdown period in July and August.
United beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park and Brighton 3-0 at the Amex.
These are good fixtures to begin the season with and try to click back into the same momentum we ended 2019/20 with.
Manchester United’s first six fixtures of 2020/21
- Crystal Palace (H)
September 19 – 5.30pm
- Brighton and Hove Albion (A)
September 26 – 12.30pm
- Tottenham Hotspur (H)
October 4 – 4.30pm
- Newcastle United (A)
October 17 – 3pm
- Chelsea (H)
October 24 – 3pm
- Arsenal (H)
October 31 – 3pm
With United beginning the season a week later, the worst case scenario would have been a tough away game against a rival, like away at Liverpool or Chelsea.
This could have led to United being two games off the pace if we suffered defeat, and the positive momentum of the end of last season would have been lost immediately.
Now against two sides who we beat recently, United should take some belief that both are winnable to kick off the season with six points out of six.
Palace did beat us at Old Trafford last August, it should not be forgotten, and no games can be taken for granted. But as far as fixtures go, this is a nice one to begin with.
The following four
Tottenham are another side we faced after lockdown, drawing 1-1 in a match we really deserved to win.
The timing of this is good. Spurs play three Europa League qualifying matches in the run-up to the match at Old Trafford, including one on the Thursday before.
Extra rest for this fixture will give United an advantage and this is a must-win game to set the tone for other big home matches in October.
A win against Spurs will set our stall out and send a message as United prepare to take on Chelsea and Arsenal at Old Trafford later in the month.
These are tough games, but with home advantage, they are matches we absolutely have to win to start the season strongly.
With Arsenal playing in the Europa League beforehand, United will have at least one extra day rest for the fixture too.
Newcastle away is a repeat of a game we lost 1-0 last season. Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba both missed that fixture with injury, and with Bruno Fernandes available now too, we can head to St James’ Park confident of an away win.
The ideal scenario is of course 18 points from 18 from our opening six fixtures. Our strong end of season run showed what is possible.
Three wins from our first three should be a must at the very least, and this will have us in the mix at the top even though we are a game behind.
United need extra additions in the transfer window to help balance the squad to compete in all competitions, with the Champions League kicking off in late October too.
Hopefully this fixture list brings extra clarity to United’s efforts to strengthen the squad. Our season begins in less than a month.
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