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Preview: Manchester United need to beat the best teams to help them achieve their ambitions

Real Madrid -v- Manchester United

Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California, United States of America

Saturday 23rd July 2017; KO 14:00 local time – 22:00 in the United Kingdom

Live on MUTV in the United Kingdom

Manchester United will play their fourth pre-season match of the United States of America leg of their pre-season tour with Real Madrid their opposition, the second International Champions Cup match of the summer after beating Manchester City 2-0 in the early hours of Thursday morning. United are in good form and the new recruits Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku are both settling in well. The former is playing well in defence with the latter proving his goalscoring abilities with two goals in three appearances against both Real Salt Lake and Manchester City, with the goal against City the better of the two based on his ability to beat the goalkeeper by heading the ball forward than scoring from an angle with two defenders looking to close out the attempt.

Real Madrid will be another tough match ahead of the new season and it will not be the first time the two sides will play this summer with the UEFA Super Cup in Macedonia to be contested on the 8th August. United will be looking to continue their winning form on pre-season by scalping the La Liga and UEFA Champions League holders who will play their first match of the summer against United, much the same as City a few days ago. I am sure both teams will be up for winning, which should give us all a good match to watch and one not played at 3 am in the morning so sleep patterns, at least in the United Kingdom, will not be disturbed all that much.

United midfielder Paul Pogba, who helped beat City with only him and Lukaku playing 90 minutes spoke about beating the best teams in order to prepare to become the best team in Europe once again, which is something United will intend to achieve again, although it might not happen for a few years unless the team surprises everyone, which we all know they are capable of doing. The French midfielder spoke to the official Manchester United website about beating the best teams, saying:

“The big games keep on coming. The players in the next team want to play against the best. We want to play against the best, we want to beat the best and we want to become the best.

“Those games are very important for us because it is not like the game against Real Salt Lake when they want to prove themselves against Manchester United. You try to play but mentally it is different. Now it is a big team, as big as Manchester United. You don’t want to lose against them.”

Have Manchester United and Real Madrid are no strangers on pre-season tours

Manchester United and Real Madrid have played each other before in pre-season matches, United beating the Spanish side the last time the two teams met with United walking away from the 3-1 victory in high spirits that summer. It was Louis van Gaal’s first pre-season tour with the club in the summer of 2014, this match being played in front of 109,318 supporters in Ann Arbour, Michigan. United ended up playing Liverpool in the final of the International Champions Cup in Miami that summer, beating Liverpool to win the trophy. United and Madrid do have a bitter history though, one which should fire the two teams to give us a good match, the first of the summer with the UEFA Super Cup to be played in a few weeks time. David De Gea should play in goal, a goad to the Spanish club as they want the player and United seem determined to not let that happen once again.

Team News: Mourinho give update on what to expect from his Manchester United team ahead of the Real Madrid match

Manchester United could still be without Juan Mata, who was injured against Real Salt Lake earlier in the week, which will be a big blow ahead of the summer preparations for the new season. The Portuguese manager gave an update on his team selection for the Real Madrid match to the official Manchester United website, saying:

“We played with two back fours. We played with one in the first half and one in the second half. It was just Antonio Valencia who played a bit more because he didn’t play much in the match against Real Salt Lake. We played with two back fours and two goalkeepers. Against Real Madrid, we will do the same. I don’t change my words because we win or because we lose. We are here to train and to give everybody time. In this game [against Manchester City] we played Eric Bailly with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling with Victor Lindelof. The next game with Real Madrid I will change. I will play Lindelof with another one, and Bailly with another one. Everything is going okay for us.”

Predicted Starting XI: Romelu Lukaku to be flanked by Antony Martial and Henrikh Mkhitaryan against the noisy neighbours?

Match Prediction:

Real Madrid 1-2 Manchester United

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