Leigh Sports Village, Leigh
Premier League 2
Sunday 28th August 2016, KO 13:05 [Live on MUTV]
Manchester United U23’s face Chelsea at Leigh Sports Village in the Premier League 2 on Sunday afternoon. United have played twice in the league this season, beating Leicester City 1-0 and losing 2-0 to Southampton. Warren Joyce’s side will need to get sorted quickly to salvage their season at the earliest opportunity. Chelsea will be a tough match for Joyce’s side as they are unbeaten this season, drawing with Sunderland 1-1 in their first match and beating Liverpool 4-1 in their second. United will need to find some organisation if they are to get anything out of this match. One defeat can turn into two and before you know it, the U23’s could capitulate, much like the U18’s did last season – losing twelve league matches on the bounce. Warren Joyce was not all that impressed with his squad after Monday’s defeat and made his views known to the media, and presumably, the players would have received a bigger brunt of his annoyance. Speaking after Monday’s 2-0 defeat to Southampton at St Mary’s, Joyce said:
“I certainly thought we didn’t look like we had a method to our play, with and without the ball. We looked like a group of individuals just thrown together, but that can be too easy, because you can still have a desire and still have a passion to play for Manchester United.
“It’s not the first time that I’ve actually said to this group straight after the game ‘You’re actually embarrassed – the way we’ve played,’ it’s probably the third time in the pre-season games.
“So it’s a situation where it’s not an automatic thing at this place that players just go on and be successful, as they have been in the last few years, where if they’re not good enough to play for Manchester United they drift into leagues and have successful careers.
“This group are almost deluded really, as to where they’re at. And there is certainly a lot of hard work to be put in during the coming season to keep our head above water, really.”
United’s U23’s are a team without much guidance, on the pitch at least. Not having a true striker is only the start of their problems. In order to learn something, you need to be able to learn from someone by playing alongside them. United are currently not using any overage players or even players that would fit the age group, of which United have many within the first team. Jesse Lingard might be a contender on Sunday if he is not involved with the first team against Hull on Sunday as he has just returned to training from an injury. Bastian Schweinsteiger could also play a part in teaching the youth something, which would give him something to work for and the chance may well earn him a place in Mourinho’s squad this season, despite what Mourinho said in his press conference, albeit unlikely. Joyce needs some experience in his side, that would be key for him, and a striker would be great, although Will Keane, who doesn’t seem to have got himself a loan move sorted, may well return to the reserves, solving their striker problems, which would be beneficial, more beneficial in fact instead of playing James Weir or Josh Harrop out of position.
Manchester United U23 Squad:
Manager: Warren Joyce
Goalkeepers: Joel Castro Pereira, Dean Henderson, Kieran O’Hara
Defenders: Matthew Olosunde, Axel Tuanzebe, Regan Poole, Charlie Scott, Sadiq El Fitouri, Joe Riley
Midfielders: Scott McTominay, James Weir, Tosin Kehinde, Josh Harrop, Sean Goss, Devonte Redmond, Matty Willock
Forwards: Demitri Mitchell, Josh Doughty
Chelsea U23 Squad:
Manager: Adrian Viveash
Goalkeepers: Bradley Collins
Defenders: Fikayo Tomori, Fankaty Dabo, Jake Clarke-Salter, Dion Conroy, Ali Suljić, Jay Dasilva
Midfielders: Kyle Scott, Isaac Christie-Davies, Ruben Sammut, Mukhtar Ali, Tika Musonda, Charlie Colkett, Charlie Wakefield, Miro Muheim, Josimar Quintero
Forwards: Islam Feruz
Manchester United U23 Form:- LWLLWW
Southampton 2-0 L, Leicester City 1-0 W, Oldham Athletic 1-1 (3-4 penalties) L [F], Port Vale 4-2 L [F], Salford City 5-1 W [F], Altrincham 2-1 W [F]
Chelsea U23 Form:- WDWWDD
Liverpool 4-1 W, Sunderland 1-1 D, West Ham United 3-0 W [F], Vitesse 3-2 W [F], Reims 1-1 D [F], RC Lens 0-0 D [F]
Predicted Starting XI:
Manchester United 1-0 Chelsea