Manchester United: 2012/13 Premier League Preview

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Position last season: 2nd

Premier League title odds: 12/5

Players in: Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund, £14.08m), Nick Powell (Crewe, £3.6m)

Players out: Tomasz Kuszczak (Brighton, free), Paul Pogba (Juventus, free), Ben Amos (Hull, loan), Reece Brown (Coventry, loan), Sean McGinty (Oxford, loan(, John Cofie (Sheffield United, loan), Ji-Sung Park (Queens Park Rangers, £2.8m), Fabio (Queens Park Rangers, loan), Matty James (Leicester, £1.1m), Ritchie de Laet (Leicester, £1.1m), Oliver Norwood (Huddersfield, £440,000), Michael Owen (released), Owen Hargreaves (released)

Net spend: -£15.31m

Opening fixture: Everton, Goodison Park (referee: Andre Marriner)

Predicted finish: 2nd

Key Man: Shinji Kagawa

Manchester United may not have spent much in the transfer market, but Sir Alex Ferguson can argue to have spent well with the acquisition of Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund.

Wayne Rooney has already extolled the virtues of the Japanese forward and the United striker's goals tally for the season will be significantly influenced by his new teammate.


Manchester United will still be feeling the lasting damage inflicted on them in the dying seconds of last season when Manchester City snatched the Premier League title from their grasp in such dramatic fashion.

The Manchester rivals will once again be the frontrunners in the league this season and City retain both a psychological edge and a superior squad to Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

City have been surprisingly restrained in the transfer market this summer, so much so that even the spending of United - something that has be restricted in recent years - has been superior.

The signing of Shinji Kagawa is an excellent one by United, but Ferguson could yet play his trump card before the campaign gets underway with the recruitment of Robin van Persie.

Winning the race for the Arsenal captain will serve land a return blow back on City - who have also pursued Van Persie - and will do United's prospects of winning a 20th league title no harm at all.

There are, however, still doubts about the quality of their midfield - particularly when compared to City - and, even though Paul Scholes has committed for this season, United will still miss a creative heartbeat in the centre of the pitch.

This could come in the shape of a fit-again Tom Cleverley but, although he possesses immense talent, the youngster is still far from proven at first-team level.

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