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Preview: QPR to challenge Manchester United in their second pre-season match

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Queens Park Rangers -v- Manchester United

Pre-Season 2021/22

Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, Loftus Road, London

Saturday 24 July 2021, KO 15:00 BST

Manchester United will face Queens Park Rangers at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Saturday afternoon in what will be their second pre-season match of the summer. United beat Derby County 2-1 on Sunday at Pride Park with Tahith Chong opening the scoring, Facundo Pellistri doubling United’s lead and Colin Karim-Richards scoring a consolation goal. United looked good on the pitch and some of the players looked to be getting ready for the new season, whether it would be at United, loaned out or even sold this summer. Pellistri and Chong looked good, as did Jesse Lingard when he came on in the second half.

This is the second of five pre-season matches this summer, with two yet to be played at Old Trafford; Brentford (28 July) and Everton (7 August) with a trip to Preston North End in between (31 July). Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is still missing 11 first team players; David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani, with 10 of them eventually joining up with the squad, and Rashford yet to know if he will be having surgery – keeping him out until at least October, plus Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo who are representing the Ivory Coast in the Olympics in Tokyo.

Manchester United players practising their ball skills at Pennyhill Park – Manchester United website

A predominantly youthful side but experiences players are starting to return this summer…

Two players have returned to pre-season training ahead of the match against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon; Daniel James and Scott McTominay so Solskjaer will be seeking a way to get them involved in the match, giving them a chance to obtain match fitness ahead of the season commencing. The squad ahead of this match will be, starting with the goalkeepers; Lee Grant, Tom Heaton, Nathan Bishop and Matej Kovar, showing that Dean Henderson is not involved. The defence; Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Will Fish, Teden Mengi and Di’Shon Bernard.

In midfield; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Daniel James, Facundo Pellistri, Nemanja Matic, Dylan Levitt, James Garner, Scott McTominay, Hannibal Mejbri and Ethan Galbraith and lastly, the attack; Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, Shola Shoretire, Anthony Elanga and Joe Hugill. It is still a toughly squad, which is a good thing as Solskjaer will have more of an idea which players he could utilise as the season starts and which players will be seeking to complete a loan spell away from the club. In the coming weeks, United will be better stacked with the likes of David De Gea, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani and more returning.

Scott McTominay have a drink during a training session at Pennyhill Park – Manchester United website

Previous meetings with Queens Park Rangers and their connections with Manchester United…

United and QPR have met a total of 53 times competitively in the history of both clubs. United have won 34 times, drawing 13 times and losing just six times. The last loss against QPR was on the 1 January 1992 with the away side winning 4-1 with Brian McClair scoring United’s only goal of the match. Since then, a total of 17 matches have been played between the two clubs with United winning 14 times, with two runs of seven victories in a row, drawing three times. The last match between the two clubs was played on the 17 January 2015 and was a 2-0 victory for United with Marouane Fellaini and James Wilson scoring the goals.

There are no current QPR players who have played for United but there has been a few players with a United connection play for the London club. The two latest first team players to have left United for QPR were Ji-Sung Park, who left in the summer of 2012 and Rio Ferdinand, who left the club in the summer of 2014. Sean Goss, a player from United’s academy signed for QPR in the summer of 2016 and Will Keane was loaned to the club during part of the 2013/14 season. Fabio da Silva (2012/13), Federico Macheda (2012/13), Tom Heaton (2009/10) and Kieran Lee (2007/08) were also loaned to QPR. Paul Parker signed from QPR in 1991.

Tahith Chong, Alex Telles, Andreas Pereira, Facundo Pellistri and Juan Mata – Manchester United website

Predicted Starting XI: Mason Greenwood to keep his place against QPR with Anthony Elanga, Jesse Lingard and Facundo Pellistri supporting him?

Solskjaer will probably selected a similar XI against QPR as he did against Derby based on the players available in the training squad. United have been at Pennyhill Park in Surrey this week on a training camp ahead of the fixture. Both Daniel James and Scott McTominay joined the squad at the start of the week, so they will get some minutes in the match too. Mason Greenwood will keep his place as the striker, flanked by Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri with Jesse Lingard in behind him. This would be a good attacking game for the four players which could help get them up to speed for the new season, whether spent at United or elsewhere.

In midfield, a duo of James Garner and Nemanja Matic would be a good combo as both did well against Derby, despite not being on the pitch together. It would be good to see what the pair can do on the pitch together and it would benefit Garner, who could take Matic’s place in the squad in the not too distant future. In defence, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles could start in the fullback positions with Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi pairing again in the centre of defence. The pair did well against Derby, getting 60 minutes on the pitch, which could be the case once again on Saturday. In goal, Tom Heaton should start again, he did well against Derby.

Nemanja Matic taking it easy at Pennyhill Park during a training session – Manchester United website

Match Prediction: Another pre-season victory for United this weekend ahead of the first match to be played at Old Trafford this summer lies just days ahead with Brentford lying in wait.

This is expected to be another win for United during this pre-season, but that is not the point of these matches. It is all about fitness. As the summer continues, United will be upping the levels of their players ahead of the new season, which starts in just three weeks time. Solskjaer will be seeking to get all his players ready for the challenge that lies ahead. United will be seeking to get players with more minutes in their legs with some players on the pitch for 60 minutes this time and others getting just 45 minutes, or fewer. United have a good record against QPR and that should continue.

I think United will have more attacking power than QPR, even if the majority of the squad is the talented youth. Mason Greenwood could bag his first goal of the pre-season campaign but I think Facundo Pellistri will be seeking to get his name out there again following his strike against Derby County last weekend. The likes of Daniel James and Scott McTominay will be hoping to get minutes on the pitch in their first matches since representing Wales and Scotland respectively in Euro 2020 earlier this summer. Anthony Elanga could be a player that will find his feet in this match too. Come on United.

Queens Park Rangers 0-2 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

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