Firstly, Manchester United take on Swansea City at 12.45pm a clear two hours and forty-five minutes before any other team gets their season underway. Whilst Swansea certainly have the capability to score first, I firmly believe it will be the Manchester United No.10 that scores the opening goal of the campaign.
Wayne Rooney will be out to impress the new manager Louis van Gaal, as he has been in pre-season games and Robin van Persie is not fit to start just yet for the Dutch coach, which could mean Rooney ends up playing in the striker role up front rather than the second striker role just behind as he ordinarily does, increasing the likelihood that he’ll be the scorer instead of the provider.
Meanwhile, it’s Rooney’s first competitive match since the World Cup in Brazil that England exited after just three games, failing to make it out the group stage. That will have been a disappointment for Rooney who managed to score his first goal at a World Cup finals tournament but I doubt that will have satisfied him completely. He’ll be looking to prove himself once again for the Red Devils, no doubt about it.
Likewise, it’ll be his first game at Old Trafford as the newly appointed Manchester United captain and if that doesn’t inspire him to rise to the occasion, I don’t know what will. On top of that, the retirement of Steven Gerrard from international football leaves a Rooney-shaped void in Hodgson’s squad that the Three Lions’ frontman will be looking to fill and he’ll have this season as United captain to prove he is the man for the job.
Of course, there are 21 other players on the pitch and, you never know, a deflected cross, an own goal, a penalty, a goalless draw – all of these things could occur across the 90 minutes at Old Trafford but, if I were a betting woman my money would be on Wayne Rooney to score the opening goal of the 2014/15 season.