Manchester United odds: Red Devils 20/1 for relegation
Manchester United ended Saturday bottom of the Premier League for the first time since August 1992 and Coral have cut their odds to be relegated from 150/1 to just 20/1 after their 4-0 battering by Brentford.
This is the first season since the inaugural Premier League campaign in which a United team have lost their opening two fixtures.
On that occasion, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were beaten 2-1 at Sheffield United on the opening day – with Brian Deane scoring the competition’s first goal – and followed that up with a 3-0 home defeat to Everton.
— Premier League (@premierleague) August 13, 2022
That left United bottom for three days from August 19 to 21 but they recovered in emphatic style to become the first Premier League champions.
The defeat to Brentford also means Erik ten Hag is the first manager to lose each of his first two games in charge of United since John Chapman in 1921.
He has been cut from 16/1 to 6/1 in the next manager to leave his position market as a result.
Red Devils stung by Bees
United plumbed new depths after the capitulation at Brentford sent Ten Hag’s side into full-blown crisis mode.
Through a mixture of catastrophic defensive ineptitude and Brentford opportunism, the Red Devils found themselves four down at half-time.
Goalkeeper David De Gea gifted the first two to Josh Dasilva and Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee helped himself to a third and Bryan Mbeumo hit a slick fourth on a chastening afternoon for the visitors.
It also left Ten Hag questioning the hunger of his players.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) August 13, 2022
“For one, Brentford were more hungry, and two, we conceded goals with individual mistakes,” said Ten Hag. “You can have a good plan but then you put the plan in the bin.
“I think it’s nothing to do with tactics. The first two goals are about dealing with the ball and decisions.
“I think they follow my instructions but they make bad decisions. This is football, it’s a game of mistakes and we got punished.
“When the results are like this I can imagine (how the fans) are feeling.
“It’s no good that we show that clearly and we have to change that. We need more hunger on the pitch as a team and individuals.”
Poor start can be springboard for success
Manchester United started poorly on a few separate occasions under Ferguson before going on to win the league.
Back in 1992, a 1-1 home draw against Ipswich on August 22 was enough to lift them off the foot of the table and they never looked back, losing just four matches out of their remaining 39.
United won the title with 84 points from 42 games – 10 points clear of second-placed Aston Villa.
Three years later in 1995, an opening-day defeat to Villa on August 19 saw them sit 19th out of 20 teams for three days until Bolton slipped below them.
The loss to Villa prompted Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen to declare “you don’t win anything with kids” but their stay in the relegation zone was short-lived as a run of five wins followed and they ended up winning the league and FA Cup double that season.
Fast forward to August 25, 2007 when a three-match winless start – draws against Reading and Portsmouth before a 1-0 defeat in the Manchester derby – left them 19th again.
That was the catalyst for an eight-match winning run and the season ended with United as both Premier League and Champions League winners.
In total, the Red Devils had spent just 12 days in the Premier League bottom three – all in August – prior to this season.
Next up for United is a visit from bitter rivals Liverpool, who won 5-0 at Old Trafford last season, and they are 11/2 to record their first victory of the season.
Coral’s Manchester United odds
Manchester United odds v Liverpool
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication