DW Stadium, Wigan
Pre-Season Friendly 2016
Saturday 16th July 2016, KO 13:30 BST – Live on MUTV
Jose Mourinho will manage his Manchester United team for the first time against Sky Bet Championship side Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Saturday afternoon, KO 13:30 BST, which will be shown live on MUTV. The squad has been training for the best part of a fortnight to ready themselves for their first pre-season challenge of the summer before they embark on their pre-season tour of China and Sweden ahead of the new season of football. New signings Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan could make their first appearance in a Manchester United shirt, with Luke Shaw also making his comeback from his double leg fracture ten months ago, which ended his season almost as soon as the last season started.
Mourinho would not have many first team players at his disposal with the ten that featured in the European Championships in France this summer still on holiday, meaning David De Gea, Chris Smalling, Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Morgan Schneiderlin, Marouane Fellaini, Matteo Darmian, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Paddy McNair will not be part of the travelling squad. The Copa America this summer in the United States of America will also rule out finalists Sergio Romero and Marcos Rojo, with Antonio Valencia returning to the AON Training Complex earlier this week. Jose Mourinho has stated that many of the club young starts will be given a run in the side against Wigan.
James Wilson, Andreas Pereira, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe, Joel Castro Pereira and Dean Henderson have been training within the first team this week, with the likes of Memphis Depay, Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Jesse Lingard, Adnan Januzaj, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones and Daley Blind, who were not involved in any tournaments for their respective countries this summer. It will be a particularly strong squad, with Mourinho likely to give youth a chance to show what they can do alongside senior players available to the Portuguese manager. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, another signing so far this summer will not be part of this match due to his participation on the European Championships and it is likely that he will miss the China leg of the tour, making his Manchester United debut against Galatasaray in Gothenburg at the end of the month.
The squad to face Wigan Athletic is likely to include the players mentioned above and in the list below;
Goalkeepers: Joel Castro Pereira, Sam Johnstone, Dean Henderson;
Defenders: Antonio Valencia, Guillermo Varela, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Daley Blind, Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw, Tyler Blackett;
Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Ashley Young, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Memphis Depay;
Forwards: James Wilson, Will Keane
Former Manchester United midfielder Nick Powell signed for Wigan earlier in the week and he will join two other former United players, Reece James and loanee Andy Kellett. Powell may of may not feature against his former club, with my money being on him not being fit, as that seems to be how his career has faired lately. He spent his last few months of his time with United on loan with Hull City, not being part of the squad for much of the second half of the season.
Starting XI Prediction:
Wigan Athletic 1-3 Manchester United