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Confirmed XI: Greenwood, Chong, Elanga, Levitt and Garner start against Derby

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Manchester United start their pre-season campaign against Derby County at Pride Park on Sunday afternoon. It will be the first pre-season campaign since the summer of 2019 when United faced Perth Glory and Leeds United in Perth, Australia, Inter Milan in Singapore, Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai, Kristiansund in Oslo, Norway and AC Milan in Cardiff, Wales. United played just one pre-season match last summer, losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park a week before their season started. This did not help United prepare for the new season, which started poorly for United as they were beaten three times, drawing once and winning twice in three opening six matches. However, the season ended on a better note than it started.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to get something started for his team this summer, getting the majority of the team fit and ready to face Leeds United at Old Trafford in the opening Premier League match which will be played on Saturday 14 August 2021 at 12:30. Because of Euro 2020 and the Copa America, which were both delayed from last summer, Solskjaer will be without many of his first team players for this match, including David De Gea, Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani, plus Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo will be representing the Ivory Coast at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

Manchester United:

Heaton;

Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Mengi, Williams;

Garner, Levitt;

Elanga, Mata, Chong;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Grant, Bishop; Telles, Fish; Lingard, Pereira, Pellistri, Matic, Hannibal, Galbraith, Bernard, Shoretire; Hugill

Derby County:

Roos;

Byrne, Jagielka, Davies, Buchanan;

Bird, Shinnie,

Aluko, Lawrence, Morrison;

Baldock

Substitutes:

Marshall, Allsop, Forsyth, Williams, Kazim-Richards, Sibley, Hutchinson, Ebosele, McDonald, Knight, Thompson, Watson

United and Derby have met many times in the history of both clubs with a total of 108 competitive matches between the two clubs. United have won 47 times, drawing 29 times with Derby taking the victory 32 times. United last met Derby in the Emirates FA Cup back in March 2020 with Solskjaer’s side winning 3-0 with goals scored by Luke Shaw and a brace from Odion Ighalo, who has now left the club. Derby beat United in the prior match, which was in the Carabao Cup, a 2-2 draw with Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini both scoring but losing 8-7 on penalties after Sergio Romero was sent off and Lee Grant making his competitive debut for the club. Phil Jones saw his penalty saved, which was the end of the road for United in the competition that season.

Wayne Rooney is currently the manager of Derby and has been at the club since August 2019, after returning from the MLS side DC United. Rooney was a player coach but was not eligible to play until January 2020. He was made the interim manager of the Championship club following the sacking of Phillip Cocu. On the 15 January 2021, Rooney retired as a player, focusing on managing Derby for the remainder of the season. His side evaded relegation on the final day of the 2020/21 season, keeping the club in the Championship for at least another season. Derby currently have former United player Tom Lawrence at the club and Teden Mengi was on loan there last season, with the club wanting him again. Ravel Morrison is currently training with Derby.

Written by John Walker

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