When the English Premier League makes its return, there are so many questions that need to be answered. It’s not just if Arsenal can hold onto their five point lead at the top of the table. Manchester United are fifth in the Premier League, can they get into the top four and qualify for the Champions League?

One fact we already know is that Cristiano Ronaldo will not be playing for Manchester United again. It was agreed that he leave the club after his revealing interview on Talk TV. It really was impossible for him to stay at Old Trafford after all those revelations.

Will this affect United’s chances of a top four finish and their hopes of recapturing the success enjoyed under Sir Alex Ferguson?

Not much really because Ronaldo hadn’t been in the starting line-up for games played before the World Cup break. United will be on the lookout for some new signings in January. You can bet that they have been keeping eagle eyes on the World Cup to see if there are any players who they could lure to Old Trafford.

The English Premier League is followed by countries all around the globe. It also attracts huge gambling revenues in areas where it is possible to legally bet. January 2023 sees the US state of Ohio added to that list when they legalize sports betting. With Manchester United so popular in the US, it’s likely many from Ohio will be placing wagers on their games.

Manchester United made a slow start to the 2022/23 English Premier League season. They were even bottom of the table at one stage but that’s all been put behind them. United had climbed to fifth place and only three points behind the final Champions League qualifying position with a game in hand. It’s 5/4 that Manchester United finish in the top four this season, the sports betting experts from Daily Stock predict.

One problem United will have this season is their goal difference. Their heavy losses have seen them score 20 goals but also concede 20. That’s left them a minimum 11 goals behind on goal difference compared to the top four teams in the table. That needs to be turned around or finishing level on points with other sides isn’t going to be to their advantage.

Only one of their last seven games in the Premier League has been lost. That was at Aston Villa and if United want to finish in the top four, they need to cut out the occasional off-days that they have.

When the Premier League season resumes, the first few games will be vital for Manchester United. They take on Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth at home and travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Anything less than three points against Forest will be a huge disappointment for United. The visitors are in the relegation zone and have only earned two points on the road this season. Just one goal scored and 19 conceded. United are 3/10 to win the December 27 match.

They are all winnable matches but that description doesn’t apply to their next two fixtures. January 14 sees United hosting Manchester City who beat them 6-3 in the reverse fixture. Eight days after that they travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal who may well still be the league leaders. With fixtures like that it’s even more important that those first three games produce plenty of points.