Anything other than a serious siege on Manchester City’s Premier League kingdom will be viewed as a disappointment by Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side put up a good fight last season, yet still finished 12 points adrift of their nosy neighbours.
Defeat in the League Cup semi-final and the Europa League showpiece event added extra injury to a healing squad.
Yet, optimism continues to rain down upon Old Trafford, mainly owed to a triumphant transfer window.
But there are still plenty of strides the Red Devils have to take before they can rob City of their league title.
Here are three problems Solskjaer needs to solve if his team are to be champions of England once again.
Improve home form
If the division was decided based purely on away form, United would have only lost to City by two points.
On the road, they failed to lose a single one of their 19 games, winning 12 and drawing seven.
United also conceded the second-fewest goals (16) and were the third highest scorers (35) on their travels.
However, this model wasn’t replicated at the Theatre of Dreams.
Solskjaer’s men would have ended up in sixth if the table was based on home results.
Old Trafford witnessed six defeats last year and just nine victories.
Furthermore, only West Bromwich Albion (39), Leicester City (30), Crystal Palace (32) and Newcastle United (33) let in more goals than United (29) in their own stadium.
Stop dropping points against weaker opposition
No disrespect to the clubs about to be mentioned, but United had a habit of losing ground on City due to their inconsistencies versus lesser opponents.
On matchday one, they lost 3-1 to Palace, which sort of foreshadowed what was about to follow.
Sheffield United was the other noticeable defeat at a point where any slip-ups would virtually hand City the trophy.
Then there were the drab draws with West Brom and Palace in February and March.
Followed by the 1-1 with Fulham on the penultimate fixture of the campaign, in front of a partly full Old Trafford.
United also had narrow escapes away to Brighton & Hove Albion and Southampton, both ending 3-2 to the visitors.
Such wastefulness cannot be afforded this time around.
Signings settling in straight away
Football is an unforgiving business.
If you fail to hit the ground running immediately, it’s difficult to claw your way back to the top.
This is the task awaiting United’s new arrivals, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.
Both enter Manchester with huge reputations and even bigger expectations riding upon their shoulders.
Understandably, it will take the pair a few matches to acclimatise to their surroundings, especially Varane, who’s spent the past decade playing in La Liga.
Solskjaer could easily hold the key to United’s title assault in his palm with these lucrative recruits.
But only if he can get them to jell with their new colleagues straight away.
Failing that, they could fall into the Chelsea trap from last summer, as several of their signings struggled to adapt after joining the Blues.