Preview: Romelu Lukaku to be unleashed against LA Galaxy in pre-season opener?

LA Galaxy -v- Manchester United

StubHub Centre, Carson, Los Angeles

Saturday 15th July 2017; KO 19:00 PDT / Sunday 16th July; KO 03:00 BST

Live on MUTV in the United Kingdom

Manchester United commence their pre-season tour of the United States of America with an opener against MLS side LA Galaxy. The last time the two sides met was during the pre-season tour in 2014 with United ripping the side apart in a 7-0 thriller. That was a Chevrolet Cup match with Danny Welbeck scoring the opener, Wayne Rooney scoring a brace, including one from the spot, and Reece James and Ashley Young both scoring braces. That sort of scoreline will be expected again as United have a much better team this summer and it will be the start of a new era after Rooney left the Old Trafford club last weekend to return to his boyhood club, Everton. Romelu Lukaku has traded places with Rooney and United new beast-mode striker will be looking to impress the manager, Jose Mourinho ahead of the Premier League season.

United will have plenty of matches to play this summer, which could not be said last summer with the ill-fated Manchester derby in Beijing being called off because of the state of the pitch, which was poorer than poor at the time. United will play five matches in the United States of America, two being friendlies, three being part of the International Champions Cup, a pre-season competition wich United won in the summer of 2014, also appearing in the tournament the following year in the USA and last year in China, which was a washout. Two days after this match in Carson, United will head to Sandy, Utah to face Real Salt Lake at the Rio Tinto Stadium before heading to Houston, Texas to face Manchester City at the NRG Stadium, the back to Santa Clara, California to face Real Madrid at the Levi’s Stadium before heading to Washington DC to face Barcelona at the FedEx Field, which is in Landover, Maryland.

United manager Mourinho has confirmed that David De Gea, a target for Real Madrid this summer, and Joel Pereira, United’s third-choice goalkeeper will play 45 minutes a piece in the match against LA Galaxy, with Sergio Romero and Pereira playing against Real Salt Lake and De Gea and Romero both playing against Manchester City. Nothing has been said about the matches against Real Madrid and Barcelona, so by the time they come around, United may be looking to give De Gea 90 minutes in each match, or share the loan between him and Romero or all three with Pereira likely yo get another chance this summer. It is certainly an exciting time with the arrivals of Victor Lindelof and Lukaku and to see the Swedish defender possibly paired with Eric Bailly, who arrived last summer, could well be the start of something good for United.

LA Galaxy are not having a good season in the MLS Western Conference sitting in eighth place after 18 matches in which they have won six, lost eight and drawn four times. They will be much fitter than United though being that this is the middle of their season, so that will be a challenge for United, who have been in Los Angeles training ready for the match all week. Mourinho will be looking for fitness from his squad with the matches coming thick and fast throughout the pre-season tour giving little rest ahead of the new Premier League season which will have started in a months time. United have faced LA Galaxy before in that 7-0 thriller and Mourinho may well be looking for something similar as he bids to give as many players time on the pitch as he can.

Possible Starting XI:

Match Prediction:

LA Galaxy 0-5 Manchester United

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copyright: JW

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