Man United fans are worried by nightmare run thanks to daunting December fixture pile-up
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Manchester United have learned their schedule for the 2023/24 Premier League season and some supporters are fearing the worst.
Another enthralling Premier League season drew to a close just two-and-a-half weeks ago but already thoughts have turned to the next campaign.
The Dutch coach brought about a marked improvement in United's play last term, although there is still plenty of room for improvement.
United finished third in the table, securing a return to the Champions League after missing out last season.
Despite finishing 14 points behind title winners Manchester City, United showed they can compete with their neighbours by beating them 2-1 at Old Trafford in January before losing by the same narrow scoreline in the FA Cup final last month.
United also ended a six-year trophy drought by defeating Newcastle 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final in February.
With Sheikh Jassim in pole position to complete a takeover of the club in the coming weeks, Ten Hag could have a sizeable transfer kitty with which to bolster his squad.
Expectations should be high for the new season then, although the Premier League have dealt United an early blow.
On Thursday, the 2023/24 Premier League fixtures were announced and already it's clear that December is when the seriousness of United's title challenge could be decided.
Ten Hag's side will kick-off the festive period with a tough trip to Newcastle, who this season pushed United hard in the battle for a top-four finish.
#mufc's 2023/24 Premier League fixtures during the festive period:— utdreport (@utdreport) June 15, 2023
December 2: Newcastle (A)
December 6: Chelsea (H)
December 9: Bournemouth (H)
December 16: Liverpool (A)
December 23: West Ham (A)
December 26: Aston Villa (H)
December 30: Nottingham Forest (A) pic.twitter.com/8FbOklEs9c
Four days later United will host Chelsea at Old Trafford, who will surely pose much more of a threat than they did this season.
Three days after that Bournemouth travel to the north, before United travel to Anfield for a high-stakes meeting with Liverpool a week later.
United have tended to struggle at the home of their fierce rivals in recent years, so won't be best pleased that they follow up that match with potential banana-skin trips to West Ham and Nottingham Forest either side of a home duel with Aston Villa on Boxing Day.
On Twitter, some fans are already predicting the worst.
"Christmas massacre on the 16th," one fan said in reference to the Liverpool game, while another said, "United title charge ending in December."
"December and April will cause us problems unless we’ve good squad depth," another predicted.
However, some were a bit more optimistic.
"16+ points right there," one fan predicted, while another confident red said, "21 is coming home," referring to United's decade-long quest for a 21st top-flight title.