Preview: Atletico will be a challenge for United as Ten Hag seeks to find his starting XI for the Premier League opener

Eriksen and Martinez making their debuts would be good to see in this match or Sunday's match

Atletico Madrid -v- Manchester United

Ullevaal Stadium, Oslo, Norway

Saturday 30 July 2022, KO 12:45 BST

Manchester United will face Atletico Madrid in their penultimate pre-season match of the summer at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo, Norway on Saturday afternoon before playing their final pre-season match against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon. 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.

Manchester United Pre-Season Squad

Goalkeepers: David De Gea, Tom Heaton, Nathan Bishop, Matej Kovar

Defenders: Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Raphael Varane, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Will Fish, Ethan Laird

Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes, Christian Eriksen, Amad Diallo, Fred, Facundo Pellistri, Donny van de Beek, James Garner, Scott McTominay, Hannibal Mejbri, Charlie Savage, Zidane Iqbal

Forwards: Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga, Tahith Chong, Alejandro Garnacho 

Atletico Madrid Pre-Season Squad

Goalkeepers: Jan Oblak, Ivo Grbic

Defenders: José María Gimenez, Renan Lodl, Stefan Savic, Felipe, Mario Hermoso, Reinaldo Mandava, Nehuén Pérez, Nahuel Molina, Santiago Arias

Midfielders: Geoffrey Kondogbia, Rodrigo de Paul, Koke, Thomas Lemar, Marcos Llorente, Saul Níguez, Axel Witsel, Daniel Wass

Forwards: Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann, Matheus Cunha, Angel Correa, Samuel Lino, Alvaro Morata, Yannick Carasco, Marcos Paulo, Rodrigo Riquelme, Sergio Camello

Manchester United Manager: Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag is at the fifth club of his management career having previously managed the Go Ahead Eagles, Bayern Munich II, Utrecht and Ajax before United. He started management in 2012 at Go Ahead Eagles managing 39 matches; winning 18, drawing 11 and losing 12 – winning 46.2%.

He was at Bayern Munich II from 2013 until 2015 where he managed 72 matches; winning 48, drawing 10 and losing 14 – winning 66.7%. He managed Utrecht from 2015 until 2017 where he managed 111 matches; winning 56, drawing 26 and losing 29 – winning 50.5%.

Moving to Ajax in 2017 until 2022, Ten Hag managed 215 matches; winning 158, drawing 28 and losing 29 – winning 73.5%. In total, Ten Hag has managed 437 matches; winning 280, drawing 75 and losing 82 – winning 64.1%. In theory, Ten Hag’s arrival at United is similar to Klopp’s at Liverpool.

During his management career, Ten Hag has won seven trophies – including one Regionalliga Bayern, three Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups and one Johan Cruyff Shield. It is hoped that he could resurrect United during his time at the club but he has a lot of work ahead of him to do that.

Atletico Madrid Manager: Diego Simeone

Diego Simeone has managed six clubs in seven managerial stints, starting at Racing Club in 2006 where he managed 14 matches; winning five, drawing three and losing six – winning 36%. He then managed Estudiantes La Plata from 2006 to 2007, managing 60 matches; winning 34, drawing 15 and losing 11 – winning 57%.

He then managed River Plate from 2007 until 2008, managing 45 matches; winning 20, drawing 13 and losing 12 – winning 44%. San Lorenzo came next from 2008 to 2009, managing 50 matches; winning 22, drawing nine, losing 19 – winning 44%. Next came Catania in 2001, managing 18 matches; winning seven, drawing three and losing eight – winning 39%.

Simeone then has a second stint at Racing Club in 2011 where he managed a further 20 matches; winning eight, drawing 10 and losing two – winning 40%. He left for Atletico in 2011 where he has so far managed 578 matches; winning 341, drawing 135 and losing 102 – winning 59%.

In total, Simeone has managed 785 matches; winning 437, drawing 188 and losing 160 – winning 56%. He has won two Argentine Primera Divisións (one Apertura and one Clausura), two La Liga titles, one Cope del Rey, one Supercopa de España, two UEFA Europa Leagues and two UEFA Super Cups.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1

De Gea;

Dalot, Maguire, Martinez, Malacia;

Fred, Garner;

Sancho, Eriksen, Rashford;


Predicted Atletico Madrid Starting XI – 3-1-4-2


Savic, Gimenez, Mandava;


Llorente, Koke, Lemar, Carrasco;

Morata, Griezmann

Manchester United Pre-Season Statistics

Goals: 3 – Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho, 2 – Own Goal, Marcus Rashford, 1 – Fred, Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri

Assists: 1 – Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot, Amad Diallo, Anthony Elanga, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Donny van de Beek

Match Prediction

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.

Atletico Madrid 2-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.