Manchester United have had a great preseason. They have defeated European Champions Barcelona 2-1 in a friendly, the MLS All- Stars (a side with the likes of David Beckham and Thierry Henry, as well as Landon Donovan) were duly dispatched 4-0, and MLS sides Seattle Sounders and New England Revolution were defeated 7-0 and 4-1.
Their transfer activity has been encouraging, if not slightly reactionary. Alex Ferguson has brought in Ashley Young for £16 million from Aston Villa to boost his midfield, as well as goalkeeper David De Gea and British youngster Phil Jones.
The first game of the season is necessary to set the tone for the entire campaign. It is necessary to make a statement of intent by delivering a great performance. Manchester United have the chance to prove that they will be able to retain the title.