Jose Mourinho’s Premier League reign in charge of Manchester United kicks off on Sunday when he takes his side to Bournemouth.
The Portuguese led the Red Devils to the Community Shield last weekend but his cataclysmic fall from grace at Chelsea means doubts remain over his ability to manage a dressing room.
For Bournemouth it promises to be an intriguing campaign as, having finished 16th in their first ever season in the English top flight, they have spent heavily in a bid to consolidate.
The Cherries beat United 2-1 at home in December but finished 2015-16 poorly, taking just a single point from their last five games.
Despite that, boss Eddie Howe rightly remains one of English football’s brightest young managerial prospects and will be hoping to prove himself again this term.
Howe has put his faith in youth in a bid to avoid classic second-season syndrome, signing the likes of Jordan Ibe, Brad Smith and Lewis Cook, and will relish the chance to try and cause another upset on Saturday.
The world-record transfer of Paul Pogba looks to have concluded United’s dealings for the summer, after Mourinho previously suggested he was only expecting to make four additions, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly also arriving.
Having won the Community Shield, expectations have been further ramped up at Old Trafford following a comparatively poor few seasons since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013.
The Portuguese has never been afraid of pressure and will embrace the challenge of proving himself where both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal failed.
If United are to challenge for the title, they will need to win at places like Bournemouth, who will be desperate to rise to the occasion.
Mourinho has never lost on the opening weekend in England but with his team still to gel and, despite over 2.5 goals being scored in nine of the Cherries’ last 10 outings, it could be a cagey affair and under 1.5 goals is possibly a bet to be considered.