Preview: Erik ten Hag to face fiery management debut against Liverpool; Bangkok awaits the North West Derby

Pre-season is about fitness but this derby could be explosive

Manchester United -v- Liverpool

Rajamangala National Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand

Tuesday 12 July 2022, KO 14:00 BST

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag will take charge of his first fixture, albeit a pre-season friendly against Liverpool at the Rajamangala National Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand on Tuesday. The majority of United’s squad have been in training for a fortnight, some returned just a week ago.

It will be a chance for United’s players to turn their back on last season and show that they are the group of players who will drive forward and finally turn the corner permanently instead of staggering home drunk, two steps forward, eight steps backwards.

United will have four matches on this leg of the tour, facing Liverpool then flying to Melbourne , Australia where they will face Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace at Melbourne Cricket Ground before flying to Perth where they will face Aston Villa at the Optus Stadium.

Cristiano Ronaldo looks to be out of the tour, although United will be looking at developments this week to see if he will make the Australia leg of the tour, which right now looks unlikely. There are question marks surrounding new signings too – this week could be telling.

Manchester United Pre-Season Squad

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

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

Midfielders: Bruno Fernandes, 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 

Liverpool Pre-Season Squad

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Adrian, Fabian Mrozek

Defenders: Virgin van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez, Kostas Tsimikas, Andrew Robertson, Joel Matip, Sepp van den Berg, Stefan Bajcetic, Rhys Williams, Nat Phillips, Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Norris, Luke Chambers

Midfielders: Fabinho, Thiago, James Milner, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott, Leighton Clarkson, Isaac Mabaya, Tyler Morton, Melkamu Frauendorf, Harvey Davies, Thomas Hill

Forwards: Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Diego Jota, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez, Fabio Carvalho, Bobby Clark

Manchester United Manager: Erik ten Hag

The Dutch manager is at his 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.

Liverpool Manager: Jurgen Klopp

The German manager is now at his third club previously managing both Mainz 05 and Borussia Dortmund before moving to Liverpool. He started his management career at Mainz 05 back in 2001, leaving in 2008 and managed 270 matches; winning 109, drawing 78 and losing 83 – winning 40.4%.

At Borussia Dortmund, Klopp started there in 2008, leaving in 2015 ending up managing 317 matches; winning 178, drawing 69 and losing 70 – winning 56.2%. He arrived at Liverpool in 2015 and has managed 381 matches; winning 234, drawing 86 and losing 61 – winning 61.4%.

During his career, Klopp has managed 968 matches; winning 521, drawing 233 and losing 214 – winning 53.8%. The German manager has done well for Liverpool, starting out having to find a way to resurrect his team, which he has done – despite making out that he does so on a small budget.

Klopp has won 11 trophies in his management career – including two Bundesliga titles, one DFB-Pokal, two DFB-Supercups, one Premier League title, one FA Cup, one Carabao Cup, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-3-3

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Maguire, Shaw;

Van de Beek, Garner, Fernandes;

Elanga, Martial, Sancho

Predicted Liverpool Starting XI – 4-3-3

Alisson;

Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Konate, Tsimikas;

Keita, Fabinho, Thiago;

Salah, Nunez, Diaz

Match Prediction

Both Liverpool and United have little to lose in pre-season based on the fact that this is all about getting match fit and ready to commence the new season. Granted, both teams will want the win, even for the bragging rights – but there are no trophies in pre-season – not proper ones anyway.

Both Ten Hag and Klopp and their respective coaching teams will be assessing which players will be ready for the Premier League season openers at the start of August and the matches they will be playing ahead of that time will get the squads ready for that.

There will be wholesale substitutions in this match with players seeking to get minutes under their belt. Perhaps some players will be given 30 minutes – those who have been training for a week, with others getting 45 minutes or more.

Ten Hag and Klopp have gifted many inexperienced youth players a place in their squads with United naming a 31-man squad and Liverpool naming a 37-man squad. This will give younger players a chance to get their feet under the table, or even get a loan move this coming season.

Manchester United 2-2 Liverpool

Written by John Walker

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About John Walker 1822 Articles
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.