English champions Manchester United have been selected as third favourites to win the Premier League this season behind Manchester City and Chelsea.
The Red Devils won the title comfortably last season before the end of April but have struggled to adequately add to their squad, landing only Marouanne Fellaini minutes before the transfer window closed.
For the past three to five seasons many analysts, experts and even the Man United fans have been questioning the strength of the midfield at Old Trafford implying it an area that needs to be addressed.
Despite the lack of spending on central midfield players, Manchester United have managed to win the Premier League as well as mounting a serious challenge in Europe.
With the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, many are predicting that this is a period in which the English champions may struggle under new manager David Moyes.
There has been signs of a struggle, especially after failing to land their transfer targets in the summer transfer window. United were rejected by the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Wesley Sneijder and failed to secure the signing of Ander Herrera on deadline day.
Despite lading only Fellaini in the transfer window, however, United still have a very strong team that can retain their crown if Moyes makes the right selections.
The tradition of Manchester United's play is to rely on the creativity from the wingers, which is what they lacked last season but they managed to secure the title regardless.
Nani only scored twice with three assists, Antonio Valencia scored once with four assists and Ashley Young only managed two assists.
Manchester United won the title due to the return of their central defenders in the form of captain Nemanja Vidic, who showed that he is still one of the best if not the best in Europe as well as Chris Smalling.
Rio Ferdinand and Johnny Evans also had great seasons but the man who pulled the strings for the Red Devils was Michael Carrick in midfield.
Carrick, alongside Robin van Persie and David De Gea, secured the title for United with the rest of the team performing below average. The depth of the team even in the wake of an injury crisis last season carried them through by grinding out results and just getting over the line in many games.
The Red Devils endured several injuries to key players at key moments but still managed to win games on a consistent basis. Nani was injured for much of the season making just 13 appearances. Shinji Kagawa sustained a knee injury and was out for quite a long while in his first season of English football while Vidic and Smalling had long term injuries and only featured mostly in the second half of the season.
Wilfired Zaha has been added to the squad to provide more creativity on the wing and he may well offer something different when given the opportunity. Young Adnan Januzaj also had a great pre-season tour and should feature in the first team this season.
If the squad is able to remain healthy and their key players get into top form then the Red Devils can retain the title. Fellaini will add some steel in the midfield which is needed in certain games and if Kagawa is played in his preferred role behind the main striker then Man United can cause any team problems.
Moyes has a string defense at his disposal with a good mixture of youth and experience. Carrick is one of the best midfielders in the Premier League and Tom Cleverley and Anderson are good talents that needs to stay healthy to develop into better players while the addition of Fellaini will be helpful with Darren Fletcher still out due to illness.
Their attacking options are arguably the best in England. Moyes can choose from Wayne Rooney, van Persie, Javier Hernandez, Nani, Kagawa, Zaha, Valencia and young Adnan.
It's an attack with world-class talents, top talents and young talent with the hunger for success. This is a team of champions and even with Sir Alex retiring there is still the belief around the players that they are winners and so they will continue to work hard to win more titles.
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