Manchester United's 2-0 victory against Ajax Amsterdam in last season's Europa League final ensured that the team from Old Trafford will compete in the Champions League during the forthcoming campaign.
Achieving that objective was, unquestionably, a major success during Jose Mourinho's first campaign as Manchester United boss - but the former Chelsea manager will have been left disappointed by his side's sixth place finish in the Premier League last term.
Improving upon that is a clear target for the men from Manchester in the season ahead and Mourinho's team open their Premier League campaign with a home fixture against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.
Despite suffering a 2-1 defeat against Real Madrid in Tuesday's Super Cup clash in Skopje, Manchester United are red hot favourites to take all three points from their first league match of the season, with Betsafe offering just 3/10 (1.30) that the hosts come out on top, while the same firm go 24/5 (5.80) that this match remains level at the end of 90 minutes.
West Ham endured a frustrating campaign last time out, but Slaven Bilic has brought in reinforcements with plenty of Premier League experience and the Hammers will be hoping for a much better season this time around.
Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has joined the Hammers, while the east Londoners paid a club record fee to secure the services of Austrian international Marko Arnautovic from Stoke City. Pablo Zabaleta has signed from Manchester City, too, while England keeper Joe Hart has been brought in on loan from the same club - those two, in particular, will expect a hostile reception from the home supporters here.
The Hammers are facing a testing away trip on the opening weekend of the season for a third successive term, with Bilic's reign beginning with a famous 2-0 win against Arsenal in 2015, while the east Londoners were beaten 2-1 by eventual champions, Chelsea, at Stamford Bridge last season. West Ham are available at 11/1 (12.0) to open their 2017-18 campaign with a win at Old Trafford.
The Hammers have scored on five of their last six visits to the venue and there is 21/20 (2.05) that there are goals at both ends in this game, with 9/14 (1.64) that there are more than two goals in the game.
Manchester United have parted company with their top scorer from last season, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while Wayne Rooney has returned to Everton, having spent 13 years with the club. Mourinho, however, has secured the services of Romelu Lukaku from the Toffees and the men from Manchester will hope that the big Belgian can fire them into, at least, the top four this term.
It was, though, Manchester United's defensive discipline that provided the platform to progress under Mourinho's stewardship last term - the team from Old Trafford conceded just 29 Premier League goals last term - fewer than Antonio Conte's title-winning Blues.
With that in mind, Betsafe's 19/20 (1.95) quote for Mourinho's men to win to nil against the Hammers offers considerable appeal and it is a play that could put punters on a path to profit ahead of Sunday's showdown at Old Trafford.
|Manchester United to win to nil at 19/20 (1.95) for a 1pt stake with Betsafe|