With their 20th league title behind them, Manchester United face a tough challenge defending their Premier League crown. 

With new managers in charge of the biggest contenders for the league, Manchester United will need to up their game to compete. 

The following consists of Manchester United's key players and who will need to perform to their full potential if they are to have success in the coming season.

Note: A player could not be regarded as the best in their position if they are also the team's 'star player' or 'one to watch'.

Star goalkeeper: David de Gea - Spain

The Spaniard Under-21 star made some fantastic saves versus top clubs in the Premier League and Champions league last season including some amazing stops against Real Madrid in Europe. 

He also contributed greatly to the U21s campaign to crowning glory in the European Championships! 

Key defender: Rio Ferdinand - England 

The ex-England international played a vital part in the Red Devils' Premier League victory last season, stepping up many times when team mate Vidic was injured.

Midfield maestro: Michael Carrick - England

The England international played throughout last season for the Reds as a centre-back, central midfielder and defensive midfielder, accomplishing the most forward passes in Europe last season.

He's been a real rock in the middle of the park and will hope to do the same this coming seaso.

Fantastic forward: Javier Hernandez - Mexico 

Finishing as United's second top-scorer last season Hernandez has proved himself as a classy player at both club and international level. 

Considered to be Mexico's best player at the moment, Hernandez scored 18 goals last season and looks to be improving.

Best player: Robin van Persie - Holland

Last year's super signing finished the season as the Premier League top scorer. The clinical finisher won the golden boot, seeing off tough competition from Suarez, Michu, Giroud and Benteke.

As well as his goals he also provides a lot of assists playing as a striker, centre forward or left winger. 

One to watch: Shinji Kagawa - Japan

Now considered slightly over-rated after not making a huge impact following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund last season. 

Although he scored a hat-trick against Norwich City at Old Trafford he didn't look as good as he did back in Germany, but with impressive pre-season displays he is looking better after his medium-term injury.

Youth starlet: Wilfred Zaha - England

Costing the Reds £15 million last season, he returns to Old Trafford after his loan at Crystal Palace and scored in a pre-season friendly.

The winger has got pace, skills on the ball and can whip in a cross. But the question is, has he got what it takes to fit into the first-team? 

With Valencia currently occupying his position will they rotate with each other or will one play completely instead of the other? One might play left-wing if Young doesn't make a return or Nani doesn't return to the squad straight away.

Manager experience: David Moyes - Scotland 

Managing Preston for a couple of years and then Everton for over a decade in the Premier League, Moyes moved into the United role in July. 

He has plenty of Premier League experience, but winning the league is a different story to his Everton managerial reign. Known as a good trader in the transfer window with Everton, how will he buy and sell with more funds at his disposal? 

Possible transfers (not including loans):

(OUT) Anders Lindegaard, Wayne Rooney, Antonio Valencia and Anderson.

(IN) Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Julio Cesar, Mats Hummels and Cesc Fabregas.

Predicted league finish: 2nd - Premier league

Although their squad is strong and they do have the ability to challenge for the title, I don't feel Moyes has what it takes to win the league in his first season.

Although I don't think United will achieve this in his first year, I believe he is well capable of great things at the club.

Other tournaments:

Champions League - Semi-finals

FA Cup - Winners

League Cup - Quarter finals

So what do you think? I'd love to hear your opinions in the comments below - thanks for reading.

 

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Topics:
Rio Ferdinand
Robin Van Persie
Javier Hernandez
Premier League
Nemanja Vidic
Football
Michael Carrick
David de Gea
Everton
Manchester United