The Red Devils may be without superstar talisman Cristiano Ronaldo for their pre-season preparations as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner seeks to resolve his own future, but his absence hasn’t affected United’s results on the pitch during their tour of Thailand and Australia.
Unbeaten in his three matches in charge so far, Ten Hag has seen his side score 11 goals, while only conceding twice.
United would have been expected to deal with both Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace fairly easily in most circumstances, but their 4-0 victory over Liverpool in Bangkok last Tuesday certainly raised a few eyebrows.
Granted, it was only a pre-season fixture. However, there’s a definite sense of positive momentum around United at present with Ten Hag at the helm – and it’s one that punters have latched on to.
Per Betfair, more than a quarter of all bets on their Premier League winners market since their victory over Liverpool have been placed on the Red Devils.
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Despite the uncertainty over Ronaldo’s next move, United have become the best-backed side to lift the Premier League title, attracting 27% of all bets.
That figure sees Ten Hag’s men more popular with punters than Manchester City (11%) and Liverpool (7.4%) combined.
Strengthened by a strong transfer window so far this summer, it’s actually Tottenham who find themselves the second most popular choice of Betfair customers right now, with 22.5% of all recent bets going on Antonio Conte’s side.
Chelsea account for 11% of the market, while Arsenal (8.7%), West Ham (3.8%), Newcastle (2.2%) and Nottingham Forest (2%) have all also enjoyed bits and pieces of support.
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While there’s a wave of optimism around Old Trafford right now, the size of the task facing Ten Hag is laid bare by his side’s 25/1 odds to win the Premier League next season.
By contrast, Man City are the 8/13 favourites to win a third straight crown, with Liverpool next up at 12/5.
Although Guardiola and Klopp are still expected to fight it out for English top-flight supremacy, Ten Hag will be intent on reducing the gap between his side and their long-time rivals, at the very least.
If the Dutchman can spring a major shock, though, it seems there’s going to plenty of wealthy United fans come the end of May next year.
Man Utd win again in pre-season | Reaction via The Football Terrace