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Key Battles: Who can change the match between LA Galaxy and Manchester United

The Red Devils kick off their pre-season tour in Los Angeles, California. Taking on the local LA Galaxy, Manchester United have a tough task on their hands. With both teams recently adding star players, the matchup will be a way to gauge how far each team comes. Lets take a look at the Key Battles expected to take place on the pitch at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles:

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Romelu Lukaku vs Pele Van Anholt

Both of the new signings for each team will be eager to meet each other. Lukaku is the attention tag here, as he recently joined The Red Devils from fellow England side Everton. A great blend of speed and power, Lukaku has the ability to either bounce outside or drop a shoulder and run through a defender. Not as marquee of a singing, but still a strong move, the Galaxy have recently signed Dutch defender Pele Van Anholt. Van Anholt was brought on to add much-needed depth to the LA Galaxy back line after the loss of Robbie Rogers. How he deals with Lukaku will be instrumental to the outcome of the game as Lukaku will be eager to debut in United Red with a goal or two. Van Anholt has all the combinations of a solid full back, but he struggles going forward.

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Romain Alessandrini vs Michael Carrick

Romain Alessandrini has been a stud in the middle of the field for LA Galaxy. Already tallying 8 goals and 7 assists, Romain Alessandrini dictates the game for the Galaxy. Romain Alessandrini not only spreads the wealth, but he has the ability to score from distance. Leaving him with few openings for rip shots is crucial. It will be up to Michael Carrick to keep him contained. The newly named captain posses the intelligence on the pitch to disrupt the flow of play. Expected to sit in front of a back three and control the game, Carrick will have plenty of time on the ball to leave his imprint on the match. If he can intercept passing lanes and put in tackles, Manchester United have a solid chance to leave Los Angeles with a win.

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Ashley Cole vs Henrikh Mkhitaryan/Juan Mata

The unpredictably of the pre-season tournaments gives Manchester United Manager Jose Mourinho the ability to experiment. Assuming Lukaku plays at Center Forward, that leaves a combo of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata among others, playing on the right-wing. This pits them up against LA Galaxy stalwart, Ashley Cole. Cole used to play for Chelsea and has plenty experience in playing big games. How he deals with the speed and quickness of either Mkhitaryan or Mata will play a crucial part in this match. Mata has the ability to impact the game from cutting inside and spreading the ball around. Henrikh Mkhitaryan will choose to take Cole outside and beat him with pure speed. Cole, it should be said, has been pretty successful at dealing with MLS level talent. Playing against a few of the United stars will be a good gauge to see how much he has left in the tank.

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Eric Bailly vs Giovanni Dos Santos

Dos Santos takes up 45% of the payroll for the Galaxy. The Mexican international has the ability to turn on a dime and slot the ball into the lower corner of the goal. While Manchester United will certainly give other defenders time, it’s important that we come out with our best defender to start the match. Bailly proved he has the ability to chase the fastest players in the world down. Out physical the strongest strikers in the world and dominate the air. Dos Santos will surely be a thorn in The Red Devil’s side as he likes to nip at the ankles of the defenders who dare to carry the ball up and this match will be no different. If Bailly and Co. can steer clear of losing careless balls, than Manchester United will take away the Galaxy’s biggest threat.

Written by Jordan Bullock

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