Manchester United have a new manager, a crop of promising young players, and haven't done too much this transfer window so far. So what realistically will constitute a decent season this term ?
Is David Moyes under any pressure to deliver a trophy in the coming months, and will the fans expect silverware at the end of the season ?
Manchester United have had a decent start to the season, with an comprehensive victory against Swansea City, and an OK draw with Chelsea at Old Trafford. The positives must be the form of Robin van Persie, and the fact that Wayne Rooney clearly showed against Chelsea that he was out to prove a point, and has retained the support of the fans.
Manchester United won the Premier League at a canter last season, yet many felt that an average team beat a lot of underperforming clubs which had their own difficulties. So, with both Chelsea and Manchester City supposedly in a better place under new managers, how easy will it be for Manchester United to retain the title ? Is it likely ?
Although many pundits wrote-off Manchester United's title chances this season before even a ball was kicked, many are now having second thoughts. Victory at Anfield Sunday, and they will surely be favourites.
In terms of the Champions League, Manchester United got an excellent draw a few days back - a group with Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Sociedad looks easily winnable, and a run to at least the quarter-finals looks ultimately on the cards.
In terms of domestic cups, David Moyes has a fairly decent track record in the FA Cup, and you'd expect United to do well at least in this competition this season.
So, Moyes will clearly want to win something this season - even though the mighty Sir Alex Ferguson had a fallow year as recently as 2012 (unless you count the Charity Shield), and you can't rule out silverware.
But, during a period of transition, a strong title defence, a good FA Cup run and progress to the quarter-finals in the Champions League will surely constitute a decent season this term. Anything else will be a bonus.
image: © Jason Gulledge