Manchester United – Best players, predicted line-up + more

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Gameweek 1 of Fantasy Premier League (FPL) is drawing ever closer and we’re profiling all 20 Premier League teams before the season starts.

We continue our team-by-team guides with Manchester Unitedseeing what their players have to offer.

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  • READ MORE: FPL team guides: Liverpool – Best players, predicted line-up + more
  • READ MORE: FPL team guides: Manchester City – Best players, predicted line-up + more

You can check out our Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Bournemouth analysis in our Promoted series.

The data in this article comes from our Premium Members Area, which you can access with a discounted subscription for as little as £2.49 a month today.

LAST SEASON: ATTACK

Total Rank v other Premier League clubs
Goals scored 57 8 th
Shots 508 5th
Shots in the box 325 5th
Shots on target 182 6th
Big chances 82 5th
Expected goals (xG) 62.27 6th

It was a disappointing follow-up to Manchester United’s second-placed finish of 2020/21. Fans were back in stadiums again, big money had been spent on Jadon Sancho (£7.5m) whilst Cristiano Ronaldo (£10.5m) returned to the club after 12 years away.

Yet manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left in November, following a 4-1 defeat at newly-promoted Watford, as the Red Devils made it five seasons without a trophy.

Under the stewardship of Solskjaer, caretaker Michael Carrick and interim boss Ralf Rangnick, their underlying attacking stats roughly match their sixth-placed ranking, although their 57 goals were bested by seven other teams.

Highlights included the opening day 5-1 win over Leeds United, where Bruno Fernandes (£10.0m) netted a hat-trick, and entertaining 3-2 home wins over Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur – the latter with Ronaldo’s own set of three.

The 37-year-old finished as top scorer with 18 league goals but has barely featured in friendlies, as reports continue to insist that he wants to leave the club immediately.

However, it hasn’t clouded a promising pre-season under new boss Erik ten Hag. Announced with several weeks of 2021/22 to go, he arrived from Ajax with an air of confidence and time to plan a new era for this underachieving giant.

LAST SEASON: DEFENSE

Total Rank v other Premier League clubs
Goals conceded 57 13th
Clean sheets 8 = 12th
Shots conceded 511 12th
Shots in the box conceded 325 11th
Shots on target conceded 180 14th
Big chances conceded 75 13th
Expected goals conceded (xGC) 61.30 11th

A huge problem for ten Hag to fix is ​​the Man United defense. Ranking in the lower mid-table for allowing attempts, big chances and shots on target, their eight clean sheets were fewer than new boys Brentford and relegated Burnley, worsened only by four others.

Furthermore, there were an embarrassing six occasions where they conceded at least four goals – including against Manchester City, both times against Liverpool and a May meltdown at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Goalkeeper David De Gea (£5.0m) made the third-most saves and played all 38 matches. Fernandes was the only other to exceed 28 starts.

From an FPL perspective, only Watford totaled fewer defensive goals, with solitary contributions from Harry Maguire (£5.0m) and Raphael Varane (£5.0m). Assists were better, thanks to a combined seven from left-backs Alex Telles (£5.0m) and Luke Shaw (£5.0m).


OPENING FIXTURES

The tougher fixtures against last season’s top five are spread out fairly evenly throughout the early months, meaning ten Hag’s side never gets a truly good or bad run of fixtures.

This is backed by our Season Ticker, which ranks fixtures for both difficulty and relative difficulty. The latter constantly keeps Man United as sixth-best for the opening four, six, eight and ten encounters.

Gameweek 1 can see them gain revenge on Brighton for the 4-0 loss, with Liverpool soon back to attempt another 5-0.

PREDICTED GAMEWEEK 1 LINE-UP

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The rest of this article is completely free to read but requires a Fantasy Football Scout account for access – you can get yours at no cost here.

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FPL pre-season: Trossard hits hat-trick from wing-back role 2
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