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Ratings: Greenwood, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, Fernandes and Dalot all did well in 4-0 victory over Everton

Manchester United beat Everton 4-0 in the final pre-season match of the summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side ran riot at Old Trafford with three goals in the opening 30 minutes of the match. Mason Greenwood opened the scoring, pouncing on a defensive error in the eighth minute of the match. Harry Maguire headed United into a 2-0 lead in the 15th minute after a Luke Shaw corner. It was Bruno Fernandes that stole the headlines though wit a stunning free-kick from 25-yards which beat Jordan Pickford. Diogo Dalot also scored a header in added time after Fred played the ball into the box. It was a positive match for United and will have helped them get ready for the Premier League season starting next week.

United started well against Everton in their final pre-season match of the summer, the second to be played at the Theatre of Dreams. Within eight minutes, Mason Greenwood had capitalised on a defensive error to score his first pre-season goal, which was great to see. United continued to press this Everton side, who looked dejected and out of sorts. The negative fans could well be hiding later today. United doubled their lead from a set-piece with Luke Shaw taking the corner and Harry Maguire heading into the back of the net. And by the half hour mark of the match, Bruno Fernandes took a free-kick, hitting the back of the net from distance to send a message that United were ready to take on their rivals ahead of the new Premier League season.

Harry Maguire scores Manchester United’s second goal against Everton.

United continued to play impressively for the remainder of the first half, having a few more chances on goal. At the start of the second hale, Solskjaer made a triple substitution with Juan Mata, Paul Pogba and Fred replacing Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Nemanja Matic. United were still playing a good attacking game against the Premier League side, who themselves had a chance to get a goal back, hitting the crossbar through Andros Townsend. Solskjaer then made another four substitutions in the 60th and 61st minutes with Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, Brandon Williams and Andreas Pereira replaced Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw and Bruno Fernandes. United possibly should have scored their fourth goal of the game soo after.

With Solskjaer seeking to give players minutes on the pitch, he made another two changes in the 68th and 69th minutes of the match with Scott McTominay and James Garner replacing Daniel James and Harry Maguire. The match seemed to be dead and buried for Everton though, who made many changes of their own but still looked dejected and out of sorts. It was a good game for Solskjaer’s side ahead of their Premier League opener against Leeds United in a week’s time. United were still creating the chances, despite the number of changes made which will give Solskjaer the vision to see which players will make his side against Leeds at Old Trafford next week. Everton will have a lot of work to do ahead of their season starting.

Bruno Fernandes celebrates after scoring a free-kick against Everton, putting Manchester United 3-0 up.

As the game was coming to a close, United were pushing Everton back into their own half once more, which must have been terrible for the as nothing much had changed since the start of the match. United seemed to be seeking a fourth goal, which had eluded them since Fernandes scored the third of the match. In added time, Diogo Dalot headed from range past Asmir Begovic from a Fred assist, which sealed a 4-0 victory for United. What a result in the final pre-season match where the majority of the first team players were back in action. Perhaps now the moaning contingent of negative United supporters will be happy, but you just know that they all be finding minuscule things to turn into massive problems, because they are never happy and live sad lives.

United will now have a week’s training ahead of the first Premier League match of the season against Leeds United at the Theatre of Dreams. United will need to do a lot better than they did last season, when they were defeated by Crystal Palace then stuttered in the league before they started to find some form. This pre-season has not been the best with the Preston North End match being cancelled last weekend and with United losing 4-2 to Queens Park Rangers, drawing 2-2 with Brentford but Beating Derby County 2-1 in the opening match f the pre-season campaign. Solskjaer will be pleased with his squad, which was toughly for the first three matches. We are still to see Jadon Sancho and Rafael Varane play for the club yet, which will be worth the wait.

Manchester United

1 David De Gea

Made a fair few saves in the match but I still worry about his level of performance as it has not been great for more than the last season. Still, this is a clean slate and both Henderson and Heaton will lie in wait. Kept a clean sheet on his return to action this season.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Put in a shift at right-back for over an hour. You can see by Trippier is on Solskjaer's wish list as he is a more attacking fullback but Wan-Bissaka does his defensive work well the majority of the time. Replaced by Dalot in the 61st minute.

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2 Victor Lindelof

Did well in his first pre-season outing for United. I would expect to see him and Maguire as the centre backs against Leeds next week. If Calvert-Lewin had played, it could have been different. Replaced by Tuanzebe in the 60th minute.

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5 Harry Maguire

Commanded the defence, as he has done since he signed. Scored a great header to put United 2-0 up. Great to see him back. Replaced by Garner in the 69th minute.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back continued his great from from last season and Euro 2020. An attacking threat from the left. Got an assist for United's second goal, taking the corner which met Maguire's head. Replaced by Williams in the 60th minute.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Was probably the standout player of the first half. He has played many minutes in pre-season so far. If he was younger, United would be ready for the new season. Replaced by Fred in the 46th minute.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Played a good game in midfield, which will have been good for the Dutchman. He should get more minutes this season and have a much better season. Replaced by Pogba in the 46th minute.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Opened the scoring, taking advantage of a defensive error to get his first goal of the pre-season campaign. Played the central role in the second half, which would give him more of a chance to start against Leeds. 90 important minutes in his legs.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

Back to his best in his first appearance for the club this summer. Scored a stunning free-kick from 25-yards to put United 3-0 up against Everton. Replaced by Pereira in the 60th minute.

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Ratings: Greenwood, Maguire, Shaw, Matic, Fernandes and Dalot all did well in 4-0 victory over Everton

More of the same from the Welshman. His desire and determination are there to be seen but his end product is poor. This seems to be the case with him. He needs to change this otherwise things will change quickly for the club and he will be out on his ear. He was better in the second half and received many fouls. Replaced by McTominay in the 68th minute.

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9 Anthony Martial

He seemed rusty but put some effort into his performance. He could not get the better of Keane and Godfrey, which may have been better if he had more minutes in l=his legs this summer. Replaced by Mata in the 46th minute.

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Substitutes

6 Paul Pogba

Replaced Van de Beek 46'. Got some important minutes into his legs and did what he needed to do at times. Would like to see more this world class Pogba that his stans keep talking about. I find him inconsistent and that needs to change.

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17 Fred

Replaced Matic 46'. Not sure he is the defensive midfielder that United need but he does some good things on the pitch at times. Got an assist for Dalot's goal, which was good to see.

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8 Juan Mata

Replaced Martial 46'. Did some good things on the pitch against Everton. His passing was good most of the time and he has something to offer, even if it is late in matches.

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20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Wan-Bissaka 61'. Played a good role after coming on. Helped to stop Everton from getting a goal and scored a great goal of his own in added time.

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15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Fernandes 60'. He played his part in the match but pre-season Pirlo did not show up in this match.

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33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Shaw 60'. Townsend tested him at times and he fouled Iwobi, who fell badly. I feel he needs to stop with these fouls so he can better his game. A loan spell would do him well.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Replaced Lindelof 60'. Did well alongside McTominay in defence. Will probably be heading out on loan this week.

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39 Scott McTominay

Replaced James 68' Came on as a makeshift centre-back and did well, despite it not being his favoured position.

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37 James Garner

Replaced Maguire 69'. Got 21 minutes on the pitch ahead of what will be an important season for him, whether he goes on loan or stays at United.

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Goals: Mason Greenwood 8’, Harry Maguire 15’, Bruno Fernandes 29′, Diogo Dalot 90+2′

Assists: Luke Shaw 15’, Fred 90+2′

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Dalot 61′), Lindelof (Tuanzebe 60′), Maguire (Garner 69′), Shaw (Williams 60′); Matic (Fred 46′), Van de Beek (Pogba 46′); Greenwood, Fernandes (Pereira 60′), James (McTominay 68′); Martial (Mata 46′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Heaton

Bookings: Seamus Coleman 49′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Martial, Greenwood, Fernandes and James lead the attack against Everton

Manchester United welcome Everton to Old Trafford this afternoon as they prepare to end their pre-season campaign ahead of the new Premier League season commencing next weekend. United were supposed to face Preston North End last weekend but the fixture was cancelled because of a coronavirus scare which resulted in no first team players testing positive and the pre-season preparations continuing. United have spent the first half of the week at St Andrews in Scotland on their second training camp of the summer, which saw many first team players return to the club after their summer holidays. David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial have all returned to training.

This pre-season campaign may not have been the best with Euro 2020 and Copa American, not to mention the Olympics all playing a part this summer but the players that played more than 60 matches last season will have had a good rest ahead of the new season commencing, which cannot be said for last summer with little rest between one season ending and a new season starting. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will see his team boosted by Jadon Sancho, who has not been pictured in training yet and Raphael Varane, whose signing has not yet been completed by the Old Trafford club. There is still hope that United will make more additions to the squad this summer, but that will result in clearing some players out of the club first, which may or may not be possible.

Manchester United:

De Gea;

Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw;

Matic, Van de Beek;

Greenwood, Fernandes, James;

Martial

Substitutes:

Grant, Heaton; Dalot, Williams, Tuanzebe; Pogba, Mata, Pereira, Fred, Garner, McTominay

Everton:

Pickford;

Coleman, Keane, Godfrey, Digne;

Allan, Doucoure;

Iwobi, Rodriguez, Townsend;

Gray

Substitutes:

Begovic, Tyrer; Kenny, Holgate, Mina, Nkounkou; Delph, Davies; Gordon, Broadhead, Dobbin

United and Everton have met a total of 206 times competitively since the formation of both clubs. United have won 90 times, drawn 46 times with Everton winning 70 times. In the last five meetings between both clubs, United are undefeated, winning twice and drawing three times. The last defeat to Everton was on the 21 April 2019 with the Toffees winning 4-0 with goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott. Prior to that match, United were unbeaten against Everton in the eight matches before, winning six and drawing twice. Rafael Benitez is now in the Everton hot seat and will be seeking to change the clubs fortunes after finishing tenth in the Premier League last season.

United and Everton have a long history with players featuring for both teams over the years. Currently, the only player at Everton to have played for United is Michael Keane. The 28-year-old started his footballing life at United as part of the clubs academy, alongside his brother, Will Keane. He was sold to Burnley in January 2015 before he was sold on to Everton in the summer of 2017. One of the beat known transfers from Everton to United was Wayne Rooney, who joined the Old Trafford club as a teenager in the summer of 2004. United have also signed Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku, amongst others from Everton in the not too distant past. Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis, Phil Neville, Jesper Blomqvist and Tim Howard have played for both clubs.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Elanga, Martial, Fernandes and Greenwood to start against Everton?

Manchester United welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Saturday as they prepare to end their pre-season campaign ahead of the new Premier League season commencing next weekend. United were supposed to face Preston North End last weekend but the fixture was cancelled because of a coronavirus scare which resulted in no first team players testing positive and the pre-season preparations continuing. United have spent the first half of the week at St Andrews in Scotland on their second training camp of the summer, which saw many first team players return to the club after their summer holidays. David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial have all returned to training.

This pre-season campaign may not have been the best with Euro 2020 and Copa American, not to mention the Olympics all playing a part this summer but the players that played more than 60 matches last season will have had a good rest ahead of the new season commencing, which cannot be said for last summer with little rest between one season ending and a new season starting. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will see his team boosted by Jadon Sancho, who has not been pictured in training yet and Raphael Varane, whose signing has not yet been completed by the Old Trafford club. There is still hope that United will make more additions to the squad this summer, but that will result in clearing some players out of the club first, which may or may not be possible.

Previous meetings with Everton and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Everton have met a total of 206 times competitively since the formation of both clubs. United have won 90 times, drawn 46 times with Everton winning 70 times. In the last five meetings between both clubs, United are undefeated, winning twice and drawing three times. The last defeat to Everton was on the 21 April 2019 with the Toffees winning 4-0 with goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott. Prior to that match, United were unbeaten against Everton in the eight matches before, winning six and drawing twice. Rafael Benitez is now in the Everton hot seat and will be seeking to change the clubs fortunes after finishing tenth in the Premier League last season.

United and Everton have a long history with players featuring for both teams over the years. Currently, the only player at Everton to have played for United is Michael Keane. The 28-year-old started his footballing life at United as part of the clubs academy, alongside his brother, Will Keane. He was sold to Burnley in January 2015 before he was sold on to Everton in the summer of 2017. One of the beat known transfers from Everton to United was Wayne Rooney, who joined the Old Trafford club as a teenager in the summer of 2004. United have also signed Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku, amongst others from Everton in the not too distant past. Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis, Phil Neville, Jesper Blomqvist and Tim Howard have played for both clubs.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Everton in their pre-season friendly at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: Tom Heaton

Tom Heaton will be more match fit than David De Gea ahead of this match with the Spaniard not featuring for Spain at Euro 2020 and last playing for United on the 26 May in the Europa League final, losing on penalties to Villarreal with De Gea failing to save a penalty and missing his. Heaton has played in all three friendlies, playing 90 minutes against Brentford a week and a half ago. He has done well, showing his ability against both Derby County, the only match United have won this summer, and Queens Park Rangers, despite the 4-2 defeat. He even showed good signs against Brentford in the only match to be played at Old Trafford so far this summer, ahead of the Everton clash. It is possible that the former academy goalkeeper could start against Leeds United.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

United have gone through the summer with a weakened defence with the trio of Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw on an extended break after being involved in Euro 2020, with England reaching the final but losing to Italy on penalties. Aaron Wan-Bissaka will probably start at right-back again, which is a positive as he has done well this summer, especially with his assist against Brentford. Lindelof and Maguire could partner in the centre of the defence, with them giving 45 or even 60 minutes to give them a chance of featuring against Leeds, which might be a must depending on when Rafael Varane’s deal gets completed. Luke Shaw should start at left-back, if he is fit and able to, as he was a stand out player last season and at Euro 2020.

Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba

United have problems with the midfield. Nemanja Matic is the only experienced defensive midfielder at the club which is a major worry as Fred and Scott McTominay are not the answer in the pivot role, unless the formation will be changed once Rafael Varane has settled into the squad? United need another player to fill the void as Matic cannot play as often as he once used to. He has played in pre-season matches this summer and has done well. He could perhaps play alongside Paul Pogba in this match with the Frenchman able to play for 45 or even 60 minutes, getting him ready for the new season, unless his head is elsewhere, which may no longer be the case with the news about Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain.

Attacking Midfield: Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial

Mason Greenwood is the only player in this trio that has been involved in all three pre-season matches that have been played this summer. He has played in the wide positions and as the main striker in the team and is yet to be involved in a goal this summer, which is a minor worry. Bruno Fernandes has not played yet, returning to training last week and being involved in the training group in Scotland earlier this week. I feel that he could give 45 or even 60 minutes in this match, which would be a big help ahead of the Leeds match next weekend. Anthony Martial has not played this summer but has recovered from injury. This season could be a good one for the Frenchman. It will be a make or break season for him. He needs to provide what United need, not hide away.

Forwards: Anthony Elanga

Anthony Elanga has done well so far this summer, despite a recent injury, continuing from the last Premier League match of the season when he scored his first senior goal for the club. Solskjaer seems to have a dilemma to sort out with the teenager, who has great pace, great ability and seems to fit into the first team this time. This has happened before with Marcus Rashford, who is out of action until at least October and Mason Greenwood. Could Elanga be the next academy graduate to grace the first team? Right now, he is doing everything that he needs to do in order to develop, which is what everyone wants to see. I believe that he can offer something to United this season, either starting the low key matches or coming off the bench.

Substitutes: David De Gea, Lee Grant, Matej Kovar; Phil Jones, Diogo Dalot, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James, Donny Van de Beek, James Garner, Scott McTominay

It was anticipated that Solskjaer would have had Edinson Cavani, Jadon Sancho and Rafael Varane for this match but both Cavani and Sancho have not yet returned to training and Varane has not yet completed his move to United. It is likely that the squad that trained in Scotland earlier this week will be the squad to face Everton, perhaps with some surprises – perhaps not. David De Gea, Lee Grant and Matej Kovar could be available in goal. Phil Jones, Diogo Dalot, Brandon Williams and Axel Tuanzebe could be available in defence. In midfield, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Fred, Daniel James, Donny van de Beek, James Garner and Scott McTominay could be available. There might not be any experienced attacking players on the bench.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Solskjaer to test his United first team against Everton to get them ready?

Manchester United -v- Everton

Pre-Season 2021/22

Old Trafford, Manchester

Saturday 7 August 2021, KO 12:45 BST

Manchester United welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Saturday as they prepare to end their pre-season campaign ahead of the new Premier League season commencing next weekend. United were supposed to face Preston North End last weekend but the fixture was cancelled because of a coronavirus scare which resulted in no first team players testing positive and the pre-season preparations continuing. United have spent the first half of the week at St Andrews in Scotland on their second training camp of the summer, which saw many first team players return to the club after their summer holidays. David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial have all returned to training.

This pre-season campaign may not have been the best with Euro 2020 and Copa American, not to mention the Olympics all playing a part this summer but the players that played more than 60 matches last season will have had a good rest ahead of the new season commencing, which cannot be said for last summer with little rest between one season ending and a new season starting. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will see his team boosted by Jadon Sancho, who has not been pictured in training yet and Raphael Varane, whose signing has not yet been completed by the Old Trafford club. There is still hope that United will make more additions to the squad this summer, but that will result in clearing some players out of the club first, which may or may not be possible.

United’s first team is starting to come back together after the summer break.

Solskjaer has been boosted by the return to training of David De Gea, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial, who have been missing this summer because of Euro 2020 and in Martial’s sake, his return from the injury that ended his season prematurely last season. Edinson Cavani is still yet to return to the squad for training, which should happen before Saturday’s match, if it has not happened already. United will be back to full strength before a ball is kicked in the Premier League, which is a good thing after a turbulent pre-season campaign so far. United have won one match, against Derby County, were defeated by Queens Park Rangers and draw with Brentford.

Obviously, fitness is a major issue for United ahead of the opening Premier League clash with Leeds United a week on Saturday, which will be a big match for United. The entire squad has not really featured together this summer, and will get a chance to do that on Saturday, providing there is a suitable level of fitness ahead of the match. It is hoped that Jadon Sancho will feature for the first time with United against Everton, who will be seeking to end their pre-season campaign with a victory this summer. It will be good to see the supporters back inside Old Trafford once again, after the clash with Brentford last week with a bid to end what was last season with matches being played in empty stadiums, which was a terrible experience most of the time.

Previous meetings with Everton and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Everton have met a total of 206 times competitively since the formation of both clubs. United have won 90 times, drawn 46 times with Everton winning 70 times. In the last five meetings between both clubs, United are undefeated, winning twice and drawing three times. The last defeat to Everton was on the 21 April 2019 with the Toffees winning 4-0 with goals from Richarlison, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Lucas Digne and Theo Walcott. Prior to that match, United were unbeaten against Everton in the eight matches before, winning six and drawing twice. Rafael Benitez is now in the Everton hot seat and will be seeking to change the clubs fortunes after finishing tenth in the Premier League last season.

United and Everton have a long history with players featuring for both teams over the years. Currently, the only player at Everton to have played for United is Michael Keane. The 28-year-old started his footballing life at United as part of the clubs academy, alongside his brother, Will Keane. He was sold to Burnley in January 2015 before he was sold on to Everton in the summer of 2017. One of the beat known transfers from Everton to United was Wayne Rooney, who joined the Old Trafford club as a teenager in the summer of 2004. United have also signed Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku, amongst others from Everton in the not too distant past. Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis, Phil Neville, Jesper Blomqvist and Tim Howard have played for both clubs.

Predicted Starting XI: Tom Heaton to start in goal; Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to start in defence; Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes to start in midfield with the latter playing in the number ten role; Anthony Elanga to lead the line against Everton?

Solskjaer has seen the likes of Tahith Chong, Nathan Bishop, Will Fish, D’Shon Bernard and Facundo Pellistri leave the club on loan since the pre-season campaign started and the likes of Teden Mengi, Hannibal Mejbri and Shola Shoretire have not been involved in the training camp at St Andrews in Scotland for the first few days of this week, so his squad will look more of a first team squad. It would be wise to start many of the major players in the squad, at least for the first 45 minutes of the match, which will give many of them chances to start against Leeds United next weekend as the Premier League starts for the 2021/22 season, which is much-awaited. United will be seeking to change the way they started last season, which cost them big time.

Tom Heaton should start in goal again, with David De Gea getting 30 or 45 minutes in the second half of the match to see if he can be in contention to feature against Leeds. In defence, Aaron Wan-Bissaka will probably play much of the match, featuring in pre-season so far with Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw playing their first minutes of the summer. Nemanja Matic could start in midfield with Paul Pogba, which might work well. Mason Greenwood could start on the right with Bruno Fernandes in the middle and Anthony Martial returning from injury on the left. Anthony Elanga should start as the main striker in the match as his pace and ability will cause a few problems. The bench might be void os many attacking players, but will be good enough.

Match Prediction: Winning is not the point of this match with fitness the main importance. But United will be seeking to get a good result at Old Trafford ahead of the Leeds United match a week later.

Solskjaer has stated that he wants to start this season such different to last season. The coronavirus pandemic effectively made it difficult to continue last season with such a short break between the UEFA Europa League finishing and the new Premier League season starting. United did not do well at the start of last season, which effectively ended their title chances, despite looking good around the Christmas period and seemingly mounting a title challenge, which seemed to end by the start of 2021. This season, Solskjaer has a better team with the arrival of Jadon Sancho and Rafael Varane, who will both improve the squad ahead of what will be an important season for both Solskjaer and United.

Everton have played two pre-season matches so far this summer with the clash with United being their third. United will be seeking to win at Old Trafford, seeing as they failed to find the winner against Brentford a week and a half ago. It would be good to see United get a win a week before the Leeds match which will give some positivity over the coming week to get ready for the 2021/22 season, which is going to be a challenge with the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea all seeking to run the race for the Premier League title and United will need to be amongst the fight for the trophy. Many will be looking forward to seeing fans in their numbers at the Theatre of Dreams for this match, which could help change things this season.

Manchester United 2-1 Everton

Written by John Walker

Ratings: Elanga and Pereira score against Brentford; Pellistri and Lingard also showed promise in Old Trafford draw

Manchester United drew 2-2 with Brentford at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. Jesse Lingard nearly scored in the opening few minutes but it was Anthony Elanga who opened the scoring in the 12th minute of the match after Aaron Wan-Bissaka played in the cross from the right. Shandon Baptiste equalised in the 20th minute of the match, which was a stunning strike on goal. Andreas Pereira restored United with the lead in the 50th minute, similarly to Baptiste’s goal in the first half, which was great to see. United then fell foul of some poor defending in the 78th minute as Bryan Mbeumo found an equaliser. Preston North End is the next test for United this pre-season, playing away from home on Saturday afternoon.

United started well in their first pre-season match at Old Trafford. Jesse Lingard started in fine form too, just like he did against Queens Park Rangers at the weekend. The United academy graduate launched a shot on goal, which did not open the scoring but was very close. United eventually took the lead in the 12th minute of the match with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, on the day he was criticised by Charlie Austin as not being good enough for United, crossed the ball into the box for Anthony Elanga to find the back of the net to see United take the lead in this match. It was a great finish. It was short-lived though as Shandon Baptiste found an equaliser from a shot just outside the box eight minutes later.

It was a good first half for both teams with many players looking positive on the pitch. There was no breakthrough despite chances for both teams. Solskjaer will be happy with what he has seen but will be getting ready for a few changes at the start of the second half, with more around the 60 minute mark. Elanga, Wan-Bissaka and Lingard all played well and I would like to see more of them in the second half. For Brentford, Shandon Baptiste, Ivan Toney and Tariq Fosu were three of the names that I feel did well against this young United side. The trio could do very well in the Premier League next season, which would be good to see. United will need to do more in this match to get a win, otherwise the likes of Jonny will be moaning again, bless them.

At the start of the second half, after many thought there would be many changes for United, Solskjaer made just one change with Diogo Dalot replacing Brandon Williams, who received a knock in the first half. The last time he played at Old Trafford, he was playing for AC Milan in the UEFA Europa League. The match soon got going again with United on the attack. The ball was played into the box but Brentford cleared the danger by Andreas Pereira latched onto the ball just on the outside of the box, playing in a shot over the top, which hit the inside of the crossbar and hit the back of the net, similar to that of Baptiste from the first half of the match. United were back in front and seeking to get a win at Old Trafford this evening.

Solskjaer made a triple substitution in the 62nd minute of the match with James Garner, Daniel James and Facundo Pellistri replacing Pereira, Elanga and Juan Mata. United were doing well after the changes were made but did not seem to want to advance their score, not that it matters much in pre-season matches, unless you are Jonny! Solskjaer then made another triple substitution with Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejbri and Donny van de Beek replacing Lingard, Mason Greenwood and Nemanja Matic. Shortly after the change, Brentford equalised for the second time in the match with Bryan Mbeumo beating Dalot on the left flank, cutting in and beating Tom Heaton from an angle. It was a shame that other goal was conceded but it happens in pre-season.

It was not a win at the Theatre of Dreams but there was many positives from this match. Elanga looks like a player who has what it takes to succeed at this club. Lingard seems to be ready to give something, if he remains at the club this season. Pereira did what he has done during most pre-season campaigns – scored great goal. Pellistri looks like a great talent and in a year’s time, he could be some player. Heaton seems to be ready to give something, which could ruffle a few feathers. It was a good game and fitness was the aim of it. United will take on Preston North End on Saturday away from home, then Everton at Old Trafford the following week. Leeds United are on the horizon now and United are getting ready for that match.

Manchester United

22 Tom Heaton

Conceded twice at Old Trafford, which was unfortunate - had no chance to saves Baptiste's strike. He played a good game, competing 90 minute for his club. Some will moan that United did not win, but it is pre-season, not the Champions League.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

On the day that Charlie Austin said he was not good enough to play for United, he found Elanga who found the back of the net with a great finish. Tut tut Mr Austin.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Seemed low on confidence in this match and did not take the game by the skin of the neck and push United to get a result. His future seems to be on loan, which should be beneficial for him, especially if it is in the Premier League.

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43 Teden Mengi

The better of the two centre-halves in this match. Mengi has so much potential and promise. His loan spell this season should be good for him, whether he ends up back at Derby or elsewhere. He seemed

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33 Brandon Williams

Had a good first half at left-back and could well start the season in this position. Seemed to get a knock in the first half and was replaced by Dalot at the start of the second half.

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15 Andreas Pereira

Scored a stunning goal in the 50th minute of the match after Brentford cleared the box with the ball find Pereira just outside. He shot towards goal with the ball coming off the inside of the crossbar. Pereira does these things in pre-season but fails to reach the same level. in the season proper. Replaced by Garner in the 62nd minute of the match.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Played well in the centre of midfield doing the defensive work. If he was 10 years younger he would be exactly what United need going into this season. He did all he needed to do and was replaced by Van de Beek in the 76th minute.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Started on the right-wing and does look happier there than as the main striker. Time could change that though with Sancho signing for the club this summer. Had a good performance though.

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8 Juan Mata

Played well against Brentford and offered his experience and his footballing brain. He had little inpact in the match though. He was replaced by Pellistri in the 62nd minute of the match.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Started brightly and could have scored early doors. Had a chance either side of the break with the second leading to Pereira's strike which put United back in the lead. He was replaced by Shoretire in the 76th minute of the match.

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36 Anthony Elanga

Scored with a great finish in the 12th minute of the match after being played the ball from a Wan-Bissaka cross. Did well for the remainder of the first half too, which was great to see. Solskjaer should keep him at United this season as I think he could do some magical things. He started the second half but was replaced by James in the 62nd minute of the match.

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Substitutes

20 Diogo Dalot

Replaced Williams 46'. Seemed eager to get on the pitch but also gave me the impression that he did not want to be there. Made a mistake which cost United with Brentford scoring. He's not a defensive left-back and it not an offensive one either.

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Ratings: Elanga and Pereira score against Brentford; Pellistri and Lingard also showed promise in Old Trafford draw

Replaced Elanga 62'. Seemed weak and his thinking is not where it should be. Has pace but needs to have the decision making to go with it. A season on loan could be good for him, if he is not sold this summer.

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37 James Garner

Replaced Pereira 62'. Got more minutes on the pitch with Old Trafford having many scouts in presence, which could see him head away on loan with first team players coming back to training. Did what he needed to do on the pitch.

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28 Facundo Pellistri

Replaced Mata 62'. Seems to be a great talent and good thinking from United to sign him last summer. He seemed determined and wanted to get forward, whether direct or going around the houses. iN a year or too he could be some player.

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47 Shola Shoretire

Replaced Lingard 76'. Came on for 14 minutes. Played out of his regular position and did well.

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46 Hannibal Mejbri

Replaced Greenwood 76'. Seems to be fouled more often that any other player, whether in U23 football or in pre-season. Looked lively though.

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34 Donny van de Beek

Replaced Matic 76'. Good to see him back. He could be the replacement for Pogba, should he leave this summer. Should be given more minutes this season. Good to see hm fit and ready to go.

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Goals: Anthony Elanga 12’, Andreas Pereira 50′; Shandon Baptiste 20’, Bryan Mbeumo 78′

Assists: Aaron Wan-Bissaka 12’; Ivan Toney 20’, Finley Stevens 78′

Manchester United: Heaton; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Mengi, Williams (Dalot 46′); Matic (Van de Beek 76′), Andreas (Garner 62′); Lingard (Shoretire 76′), Mata (Pellistri 62′), Elanga (James 62′); Greenwood (Hannibal 76′)

Substitutes Not Used: Grant, Kovar; Fish; Levitt, Galbraith; Hugill

Bookings: N/A

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Greenwood, Elanga, Lingard, Matic and Heaton start against Brentford

Manchester United will welcome Premier League new boys Brentford to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening for their third pre-season match of the summer – the first played at the Theatre of Dreams. United were defeated by Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon, slipping to a 4-2 defeat with Jesse Lingard opening the scoring inside the first three minutes and Anthony Elanga scoring a consolation goal in the 74th minute of the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not upset with the result as it was a training match which means nothing but the Ole Out brigade decided that they had seen enough of a team with few first choice senior players in the squad, which is typical of the muppets that seem to think they control the club.

Not only that, the QPR supporters seemed to think they had won the Champions League with their mocking of United all because they beat a team with the average age of 21.8. I mean, that shows the levels between the Premier League and the Championship clubs like QPR who will brag about beating United in the same circumstances. Small time. The same could be said about the so-called supporters that want the manager sacked because United lost a pre-season match against a Championship club with no main starters from last season in the squad because of international tournaments. I mean, imagine getting giddy about your team beating a youthful United team, or even moaning about the result? It just seems clueless to me.

Manchester United:

Heaton;

Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Mengi, Williams;

Matic, Andreas;

Lingard, Mata, Elanga;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Grant, Kovar; Dalot, Fish; James, Pellistri, Van de Beek, Levitt, Garner, Hannibal, Galbraith; Shoretire, Hugill

Brentford:

Raya;

Rasmussen, Goode, Pinnock;

Haygarth, Janelt, Baptiste, Fosu, Thompson;

Canos, Toney

Substitutes:

Gunnarsson, Forss, Peart-Harris, Valencia, Mbeumo, Sorensen, Dervisoglu, Racic, Stevens, Gordon, Onyeka

United and Brentford have met a total of 13 times in the history of both clubs. The first match between the two clubs came in the FA Cup on the 14 January 1928 with United winning 7-1. In total, United have beaten Brentford six times, drawing twice with Brentford winning five times. Just looking at this information, the moaning section of supporters who want to find anything to make them right, will probably suggest that United are not good enough to beat Brentford because of this information. They won’t look further than that. The last match between the two club was played on the 10 September 1975 with United winning 2-1 in the League Cup with goals scored by Sammy McIlroy and Lou Macari.

United are undefeated in their last five matches against Brentford, winning four and drawing once between the 17 December 1928 and the last match played in 1975. Former United academy players Ben Hockenhull and Max Haygarth both play for Brentford B, which is the only current link between the two clubs. In 2016, United signed Joshua Bohui to join the academy with the player staying at United for three years before leaving for NAC Breda and he is now playing for Colchester United. This will be a good test for United, especially as they are expected to have the same squad as they did against QPR at the weekend. Brentford will be looking forward to it too, getting a trip to the Theatre of Dreams before their first competitive match at the stadium in April 2022.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Heaton, Garner, McTominay, Pellistri and Elanga start against Brentford?

Manchester United will welcome Premier League new boys Brentford to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening for their third pre-season match of the summer – the first played at the Theatre of Dreams. United were defeated by Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon, slipping to a 4-2 defeat with Jesse Lingard opening the scoring inside the first three minutes and Anthony Elanga scoring a consolation goal in the 74th minute of the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not upset with the result as it was a training match which means nothing but the Ole Out brigade decided that they had seen enough of a team with few first choice senior players in the squad, which is typical of the muppets that seem to think they control the club.

Not only that, the QPR supporters seemed to think they had won the Champions League with their mocking of United all because they beat a team with the average age of 21.8. I mean, that shows the levels between the Premier League and the Championship clubs like QPR who will brag about beating United in the same circumstances. Small time. The same could be said about the so-called supporters that want the manager sacked because United lost a pre-season match against a Championship club with no main starters from last season in the squad because of international tournaments. I mean, imagine getting giddy about your team beating a youthful United team, or even moaning about the result? It just seems clueless to me.

Anthony Elanga, Hannibal Mejbri, Teden Mengi, Juan Mata, Brandon Williams and Dylan Levitt in training.

Previous meetings with Brentford and their connections with Manchester United.

United and Brentford have met a total of 13 times in the history of both clubs. The first match between the two clubs came in the FA Cup on the 14 January 1928 with United winning 7-1. In total, United have beaten Brentford six times, drawing twice with Brentford winning five times. Just looking at this information, the moaning section of supporters who want to find anything to make them right, will probably suggest that United are not good enough to beat Brentford because of this information. They won’t look further than that. The last match between the two club was played on the 10 September 1975 with United winning 2-1 in the League Cup with goals scored by Sammy McIlroy and Lou Macari.

United are undefeated in their last five matches against Brentford, winning four and drawing once between the 17 December 1928 and the last match played in 1975. Former United academy players Ben Hockenhull and Max Haygarth both play for Brentford B, which is the only current link between the two clubs. In 2016, United signed Joshua Bohui to join the academy with the player staying at United for three years before leaving for NAC Breda and he is now playing for Colchester United. This will be a good test for United, especially as they are expected to have the same squad as they did against QPR at the weekend. Brentford will be looking forward to it too, getting a trip to the Theatre of Dreams before their first competitive match at the stadium in April 2022.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Brentford in their pre-season friendly at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening…

Goalkeeper: Tom Heaton

Tom Heaton has started both matches against Derby County and Queens Park Rangers and will start this one against Brentford, playing at the Theatre of Dreams for the first time in a United shirt, which will be good for him. He could well start the season in goal for United with both David De Gea and Dean Henderson still yet to feature in pre-season, which could come against Preston North End or Everton in the final two matches. United will need a fit goalkeeper in their opening Premier League encounter against Leeds United at Old Trafford next month. Heaton played well against both Derby and QPR, making a few good saves and conceding his first goal against QPR after Charlie Austin equalised in the six minute of the match.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Teden Mengi, Brandon Williams

United’s defence is not the strongest ahead of this match, even after the deal which will bring Raphaël Varane to the Theatre of Dreams was announced on Tuesday evening, which is subject to personal terms and a medical being finalised – which according to rumour, will happen next week after a period of isolation in the UK for the Frenchman. Alex Telles is injured and will miss the stat of the season, so Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Brandon Williams will play in the fullback roles with both Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi playing in the centre of defence once again. United will be waiting for Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw to return from holiday before the defence will be assured and when Varane is involved, it will be even better.

Midfield: Scott McTominay, James Garner

The midfield is the area where there are many different players to choose from in this pre-season squad. We have seen Andreas Pereira, James Garner, Nemanja Matic and Dylan Levitt play in these positions over the last two matches and this match should see the return of Scott McTominay, who has been training for the last week, so should have the kind of fitness to get 45 minutes out of this match. He should partner Garner in the centre of midfield, who could do the defensive work, leaving McTominay to playa more advanced role, pushing the ball up the pitch. When Brentford are on the attack, the pair could combine to limit the damage. I think this would be a good match for the pair to play as being back at Old Trafford, with supporters behind them, could inspire them to achieve something, which would be beneficial for Garner ahead of the new season.

Attacking Midfield: Facundo Pellistri, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Elanga

With the likes of Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford not yet available, even though Fernandes returned to training on Tuesday, it will be a youthful three behind the striker against Brentford, which will be good to see once again. Facundo Pellistri has played 90 minutes (45 minutes each match) against both Derby County and Queens Park Rangers so should get at least 60 minutes against Brentford. He has scored one goal, assisting another. Jesse Lingard should also start after scoring against QPR at the weekend and nearly scoring against Derby the weekend before. Anthony Elanga also found the back of the net against QPR and should start in this match, which could be the start of something special for the teenager this season.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood has not got himself on the scoresheet in pre-season so far and will be seeking to do that at some point before the start of the season. It is a shame he has not scored yet but the lack of creativity behind him in the main role was there to se seen against both Derby County and Queens Park Rangers. Greenwood is a great talent and this season he will learn a lot more with Edinson Cavani around him. It would be good if United could sign a striker that can also take a role at the club, but that could possibly wait until next summer if Anthony Martial ends up staying at United, which at this time is up in the air according to many rumours. Greenwood should have more experience around him in the team at the Theatre of Dreams, which should be a good mixture against the Premier League new boys.

Substitutes: Lee Grant, Nathan Bishop; Diogo Dalot, Will Fish, Di’Shon Bernard; Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Dylan Levitt, Hannibal Mejbri, Ethan Galbraith; Shola Shoretire, Joe Hugill

There have been 12 substitutes on the bench in the last two pre-season matches and I think that will continue against Brentford at Old Trafford. However, I have kept all the players that have been training this week, who could play a part in the fixture. In goal, both Lee Grant and Nathan Bishop could be available, the latter has not featured in pre-season yet. In defence, Diogo Dalot, Will Fish and Di’Shon Bernard could be available. In midfield, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, Daniel James, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Dylan Levitt, Hannibal Mejbri and Ethan Galbraith could play a part, although he’s played at right-back. In attack, both Shola Shoretire and Joe Hugill could come off the bench against the Premier League new boys.

Written by John Walker

Preview: United to overcome QPR defeat at Old Trafford against Brentford?

Manchester United -v- Brentford

Pre-Season 2021/22

Old Trafford, Manchester

Wednesday 28 July 2021, KO 20:00 BST

Manchester United will welcome Premier League new boys Brentford to Old Trafford on Wednesday evening for their third pre-season match of the summer – the first played at the Theatre of Dreams. United were defeated by Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon, slipping to a 4-2 defeat with Jesse Lingard opening the scoring inside the first three minutes and Anthony Elanga scoring a consolation goal in the 74th minute of the match. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not upset with the result as it was a training match which means nothing but the Ole Out brigade decided that they had seen enough of a team with few first choice senior players in the squad, which is typical of the muppets that seem to think they control the club.

Not only that, the QPR supporters seemed to think they had won the Champions League with their mocking of United all because they beat a team with the average age of 21.8. I mean, that shows the levels between the Premier League and the Championship clubs like QPR who will brag about beating United in the same circumstances. Small time. The same could be said about the so-called supporters that want the manager sacked because United lost a pre-season match against a Championship club with no main starters from last season in the squad because of international tournaments. I mean, imagine getting giddy about your team beating a youthful United team, or even moaning about the result? It just seems clueless to me.

Experienced players are starting to return but probably not in time to feature against Brentford.

Solskjaer will still have the same youthful squad for this match minus Tahith Chong, who has joined Birmingham City on loan and in the not too distant future, Nathan Bishop and Will Fish will leave the pre-season to join up with Mansfield Town and Stockport County respectively. Diogo Dalot and Donny van de Beek have both been in training on Monday, so could find themselves getting some minutes under their belts against Brentford on Wednesday evening, but that all depends on how well they do in training. The Dutchman has been in training at Carrington all last week, not part of the training squad which travelled to Pennyhill Park last week ahead of the QPR fixture. It might be that he can be given 30 or even 45 minutes against Brentford.

Dalot played in the UEFA U21 European Championships during the summer, reaching the final with Portugal but losing to Germany. He was then added to Portugal’s squad for the UEFA European Championships to cover for Joao Cancelo, who tested positive for coronavirus during the tournament. Dalot played against both France and Belgium in the tournament before being knocked out. The fact that he has not played a lot of football over the past year could suggest why he is back in training already and the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and even Edinson Cavani are not. Solskjaer did suggest that many first team players will be back in training this week but they will probably not feature against Brentford but may feature against Preston North End.

Previous meetings with Brentford and their connections with Manchester United…

United and Brentford have met a total of 13 times in the history of both clubs. The first match between the two clubs came in the FA Cup on the 14 January 1928 with United winning 7-1. In total, United have beaten Brentford six times, drawing twice with Brentford winning five times. Just looking at this information, the moaning section of supporters who want to find anything to make them right, will probably suggest that United are not good enough to beat Brentford because of this information. They won’t look further than that. The last match between the two club was played on the 10 September 1975 with United winning 2-1 in the League Cup with goals scored by Sammy McIlroy and Lou Macari.

United are undefeated in their last five matches against Brentford, winning four and drawing once between the 17 December 1928 and the last match played in 1975. Former United academy players Ben Hockenhull and Max Haygarth both play for Brentford B, which is the only current link between the two clubs. In 2016, United signed Joshua Bohui to join the academy with the player staying at United for three years before leaving for NAC Breda and he is now playing for Colchester United. This will be a good test for United, especially as they are expected to have the same squad as they did against QPR at the weekend. Brentford will be looking forward to it too, getting a trip to the Theatre of Dreams before their first competitive match at the stadium in April 2022.

Predicted Starting XI: Tom Heaton, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay, James Garner, Facundo Pellistri, Anthony Elanga and Mason Greenwood to start against Brentford?

Solskjaer has a similar squad to the one which faced QPR at the weekend which might include the likes of Scott McTominay, who was missing from the weekend squad, Donny van de Beek and Diogo Dalot, who both training with the first team at Carrington on Monday. I don’t think there will be many changes other than McTominay starting ahead of Nemanja Matic. Mason Greenwood could lead the line again as he will be looking to impress ahead of the new season, but he’s not exactly done all that great at this time, which is not a major problem and more about a lack of creativity rather than anything else. When more first team players join the squad, things will start to change for the better. I hope the moaning supporters realise that but I suspect they do not.

Many of the players will get 45 or 60 minutes in this match. Hopefully Tom Heaton will play 60 minutes as without both David De Gea and Dean Henderson thus far, he might start the opening Premier League match of the season against Leeds United in a few weeks time. Diogo Dalot could come off the bench to replaced either Brandon Williams or Aaron Wan-Bissaka with the likes of Donny van de Beek, Nemanja Matic, Shola Shoretire, Juan Mata, Daniel James, Ethan Galbraith and Hannibal Mejbri all getting suitable chances to show the manager what they can do ahead of the new season. This might be the last match with a predominate youth team in the squad as first team players start to return ahead of the new season, so they will want to shine.

Match Prediction: United will be looking to bounce back from the defeat against QPR under the lights at Old Trafford. Brentford and United last met competitively 46 years ago.

This United squad is not the best but there is a massive array of talent in the squad. The likes of Facundo Pellistri, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Elanga and James Garner will benefit from a lot of time on the pitch in this match. It is likely that at least three of them will not be at United come the start of the season with Pellistri and Garner both linked with loan spells away from the club and Lingard tipped to end his time at United with a permanent move away from the club after a good half-season loan with West Ham United last season. United will be able to make many changes, but this could be another defeat for United easily, especially as Brentford will be seeking to get a good result at Old Trafford. It is all about fitness though and most should see that.

The defeat to QPR was something that many of the players will be seeking to overcome as their fates at United could be at risk if Solskjaer feels that individual players made the mistakes which cost United. However, with a squad lacking first team football experience, many will have expected something like this. I feel that the experienced players in the team will look to do better in this match, otherwise people of the same mind as Jonny will be moaning and calling for the club to get rid of the manager after yet another pre-season match. I really do not get why these people are so affixed in something they do not control. The YouTube generation really do need to learn that no matter the size of the platform, the control over the club is the same – none.

Manchester United 2-1 Brentford

Written by John Walker

copyright: JW