Sport

Mourinho predicts seven-way fight for Premier League title

Michael Carrick believes "things are on the up" at Manchester United, with the captain confident Jose Mourinho's men are in a better place to challenge for the Premier League than a year ago.

West Ham will go in search of their first win at Old Trafford since May 2007, when a Carlos Tevez strike gave Alan Curbishley's side victory and preserved their Premier League status. It is a testament to the incredible desire and love for the game the former Sweden captain possesses to come back from such an injury at the age of 36 and still want to play the game at the highest level.

"We always had more goals with wingers, midfielders getting 10 goals, central defenders getting five goals, and last season that didn't happen much". Last season, two of them were not in Europe.

Centre-backs Eric Bailly and Phil Jones return to the Manchester United squad for West Ham's visit to Old Trafford on Sunday, after being suspended for Tuesday's Super Cup defeat by Real.

"I feel good", he said. But to have better positions in the table we need to win more. There are two different people with Mourinho.

Smith and Federici, who has recovered from a knee reconstruction, both hope to break into the Bournemouth side that will aim to repeat its mid-table placing, which is realistically Huddersfield and Brighton's best hopes. United are one of the favourites to lift the trophy this time, despite finishing sixth and 24 points behind Chelsea last term.

Spurning interest from his former club Chelsea, Lukaku opted to join Manchester United in a £75 million deal that was a record for a transfer between British clubs.

My aim is to be involved in a genuine title race-one that lasts until the last few weeks of the season and not until January. But he insists, despite that, the title is a more realistic target.

"I am not in a position to say that "I am not happy with" - I am happy with the effort the club did".

"I just think he was very clear showing what he did past year was not enough for him".

"We bought three and the market is so demanding right now, for all the teams around the world, not just for Manchester City".

"I don't think I am going to win it because I always win it in the second season".

"I don't think we're going to see that replicated (in England)", said Premier League chairman Richard Scudamore. Chelsea, without European football, were able to run away with the title, as Leicester managed to do the season before.

A dismal title defence and the shock sacking of Claudio Ranieri raised questions about the players' character, but a run to the Champions League quarter-finals under Craig Shakespeare augured well.

"I am not a hard person to work with and I understand the reality of the market, I understand the reality of the numbers - and I also understand that my club by doing 75 per cent of what I initially asked, I think the club did very well".



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