Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, puts his team’s poor performance in Europe, last year, down to a lack of consistency in selection.
"Last season we changed the team too much and it backfired," Ferguson said, following his team’s exit from the Champions League in the group stages, and subsequent defeat in the Europa League at the hands of Athletic Bilbao. "It definitely won't happen next season - there is no chance of that,” he added.
Having led Manchester United to the Champions League final in three of the last four seasons, it seems that Sir Alex has now accepted that a change of approach is required, if his team are to regain the trophy, and this could mean fewer opportunities for the less established players at the club.
"Over the last few years, we have used the group stage as an opportunity to play the youngsters,” Ferguson said.
However, after their failure to defeat either Basel or Benfica in the 2011/12 group stages, both of whom ranked poorly in the online betting, Fergie seems likely to stick with the older heads this year. "Basel were just an ordinary team and they showed that when they played Bayern," he added.
Last season was the first since 2004/05 that the Red Devils failed to win any silverware, and the sight of arch rivals, Manchester City, winning the 2011/12 Premier League, and Liverpool winning the League and FA Cups is sure to spur Ferguson’s men on.
All at Old Trafford would welcome a strong start to their Premier League campaign; their first fixture is away at Everton on 20th August, and a win against David Moyes’, notoriously slow starting team would certainly give Ferguson’s side a well-needed confidence boost.
The Premier League predictions page on Bet365 indicates that United could struggle to dethrone City in 2012/13.