Manchester United will face Atletico Madrid in their penultimate pre-season match of the summer at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo, Norway this afternoon before playing their final pre-season match against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday. Erik ten Hag has two matches to fins his best XI prior to the start of the new season.
United have played four matches so far this summer, beating Liverpool 4-0, Melbourne Victory 4-1 and Crystal Palace 3-1, drawing 2-2 with Aston Villa on a poor evening in Perth on a poor pitch which had been waterlogged the night before. It was a good leg on the tour with Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho each scoring three goals.
United will open the new season in the Premier League a week on Sunday against Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford, seeking a good start to the season and a much better finish than last with Ten Hag expected to get his team to show signs of competing to life the Premier League title in the not too distant future.
The Old Trafford club has quite a few problems to overcome but the major factor there is the owners of the club who do not have the clubs or fans best interests at heart. It seems money is the key to their happiness and keeping the club in debt as long as dividends can be paid every year s fine for them but not for us.
Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia;
Rashford, Fernandes, Elanga;
Heaton, Kovar; Martinez, Telles, Laird; Eriksen, Pellistri, van de Beek, Garner
Molina, Savic, Gimenez, Mandava;
Correa, Lemar, Carrasco;
Gomis, Grbic; Diaz, Moreno; Koke, Niguez, Wass, De Paul, Witsel; Felix, Martin, Griezmann, Morata, Paulo
United last faced Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League last season; drawing 1-1 at the Metropolitano Stadium and losing 1-0 at Old Trafford, exiting the competition at that stage and failing to qualify for it this coming season, playing in the UEFA Europa League instead.
Atletico finished third in La Liga last season, two points behind Barcelona and 15 behind champions Real Madrid. This will be a competitive match at this stage of the summer as United seek to get things right before the season actually starts. The Spanish side recently beat Numancia in their opening pre-season match of the summer.
United will be up for the challenge of Atletico in this match especially with their new signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez, who could be making their debuts in this match, or the one on Sunday, maybe even playing in both? I guess we will find out on Saturday and Sunday.
I would imagine that a lot of youth players will be given a chance over the two matches with a big squad likely for both matches and perhaps those starting on Saturday could play in the second half on Sunday or something like that. Ten Hag will have an idea of his first XI for the opening match of the season in a week’s time.
Written by John Walker