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Ratings: United beat Derby 2-1; Chong and Pellistri score with Heaton, Elanga, Mata and Shoretire also doing well

Manchester United beat Derby County 2-1 at Pride Park in the opening pre-season match this summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side was youthful, in both halves but they did the job and got the win, although fitness was the main thing to gain from the match. Tahith Chong opened the scoring in the 18th minute of the match with Tom Heaton making a few good saves in the first half. Facundo Pellistri scored United’s second goal, assisted by Shola Shoretire in the 59th minute. Colin Karim-Richards scored a consolation for the home side in the 70th minute of the match. Queens Park Rangers are next for United, playing on Saturday afternoon.

It was a good opening display from both United and Derby in their opening friendly of the summer. Solskjaer named a very young side with little experience but the signs were good from the off. Derby did try to get something from United in the early stages of the match by Tom Heaton made a good save to deny the home side from taking the lead. United then started to get themselves into the match, pushing forward through Juan Mata, who looks like he still has something to give this team, even if it is just experience. Derby nipped the attack down by Tahith Chong managed to punish the defender, grabbing the ball and slotting it into the back of the net to put United ahead in the 18th minute.

Juan Mata congratulates Tahith Chong for opening the scoring against Derby County

In the 37th minute of the match, approximately 20 minutes after the United goal, derby were building something in the United box, putting pressure on the defence. Heaton, once again, made a superb save to deny the home side from levelling the score. It just goes to show that even with a majority youth team on the pitch, United still have what it takes to get the better of some teams. Derby will no doubt be frustrated so far not to get a goal back, having ample opportunity to do so. United then started to pressure Derby once again, sitting on the edge of their box, pushing forward to find another opening. The half ended with United still 1-0 up after a decent first half for this toughly United team.

At the start of the second half, Solskjaer made nine changes to his starting XI. Lee Grant replaced Heaton, Ethan Galbraith, Alex Telles, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Shola Shoretire, Facundo Pellistri, Jesse Lingard and Joe Hugill replacing Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams, James Garner, Dylan Levitt, Anthony Elanga, Juan Mata, Tahth Chong, and Mason Greenwood. It did not take long for United to double their lead with Pellistri, who spent last season on loan with Alaves in Spain, putting United 2-0 up in the 60th minute of the match. It was a good finish for the Uruguayan. Solskjaer made two further substitutions with Di’Shon Bernard and Will Fish replacing Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi.

Facundo Pellistri scores Manchester United’s second goal against Derby County

Derby got a goal back in the 70th minute of the match with Colin Karim-Richards thundering an effort past Lee Grant, who used to play for Derby before signing for United a few years back. The goalkeeper could not stop the effort from hitting the back of the net, which excited the Derby supporters in the stadium. Minutes later, Jesse Lingard almost restored the two-goal cushion for United, launching a strike on goal, which hit the crossbar and went back out into play. It was an unfortunate miss for the former academy player, who had a good loan spell with West Ham United in the second half of last season. It was a shame he did not score the goal, or the chance he had later in the match.

United had a few chances to score more goals but they never came. Derby seemed to tail off after their goal, which will give Wayne Rooney some problems ahead of the season commencing. He will be impressed with Teden Mengi, who he will want at Derby for the new season and Solskjaer will allow that to happen as the lad is a good prospect and will be seeking to achieve in the not too distant future. The match ended 2-1 to United with Tahith Chong and Facundo Pellistri scoring the goals and Colin Kazim-Richards scoring the consolation for the home side. United face Queens Park Rangers next Saturday in their second pre-season match. They will then face Brentford and Everton at Old Trafford with a trip to Preston North End in between.

Manchester United

22 Tom Heaton

Made a few good saves to deny Derby in the first half of the match, which gives the impression that Heaton is not here to be third choice goalkeeper. Replaced by Grant in the 46th minute.

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29 Aaron Wan-Bissaka

His defensive work rate is great but in an attacking sense, he needs to start improving on his crosses. However, with Jadon Sancho set to arrive this summer, this might help him, especially on the right flank. Replaced by Galbraith in the 46th minute.

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38 Axel Tuanzebe

Played 60 minutes against Derby and did well defensively. I like Tuanzebe and think he's better than Jones but he's not played many minutes of late, which is why a loan spell seems to be a big option. Replaced by Bernard in the 60th minute.

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43 Teden Mengi

Played well against Derby, the club he was on loan with last season. A great prospect in defence for United. Solskjaer will be proud of him. Replaced by Fish in the 60th minute.

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33 Brandon Williams

Guilty of some rash challenges, as has been the case when he has played. If he gets rid of that from his game, he might be more of a choice at the club. Did well in the first half though. Replaced by Telles in the 46th minute.

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37 James Garner

Put in a shift in the midfield in what could be a breakthrough season for him. A loan spell could be the best option but you never know what Solskjaer has planned. Did well against Derby. Replaced by Matic in the 46th minute.

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35 Dylan Levitt

Played well against Derby following his loan spell away from United last season. Will be seeking another chance this season. Did what he needed to do as United led in the first half. Replaced by Pereira in the 46th minute.

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36 Anthony Elanga

Looks to be a start coming through the ranks and will get minutes this season, if he stays at United. A loan spell could be good for him though. His runs were top notch, as was seen in the last Premier League match last season. Replaced by Shoretire in the 46th minute.

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8 Juan Mata

Looked to still be seeking to offer something to United, even if it just ends up to be experience and leadership. His footballing brain is still working well. Started United's attack for the opener, but was disposed with Chong getting the ball and scoring. Replaced by Pellistri in the 46th minute.

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44 Tahith Chong

Opened the scoring in the 18th minute of the match. Mata started the attack but was dispossessed and Chong then bullied the defender, won the ball and found the back of the net easily. It was a good demonstration of his skill and ability. He will show more at Birmingham City on loan this season. Replaced by Lingard in the 46th minute.

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11 Mason Greenwood

Made many runs against Derby but in terms of scoring goals, it is early days for the teenager. He will grow in fitness and stature as the weeks progress. Replaced by Hugill in the 46th minute.

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Substitutes

13 Lee Grant

Replaced Heaton 46'. Conceded United's first goal in the 70th minute through Kazim-Richards. He was not going to save that though.

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54 Ethan Galbraith

Replaced Wan-Bissaka 46'. Played at right-back which is one of the many positions that he can play. Did well against Derby.

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27 Alex Telles

Replaced Williams 46'. Set pieces, he is good but had a chance to score in the opening stages of the first half, but missed. Good left-back to have in the squad though to give Shaw a rest now and again.

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15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Levitt 46'. He normally turns up in pre-season but in this game, he did not. Not sure what his future has to offer him, but it won't be at United, most likely.

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31 Nemanja Matic

Replaced Garner 46'. Was the most experienced player on the pitch in the second half, at least outfield. Did well against Derby and will be pleased with his fitness levels.

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47 Shola Shoretire

Replaced Elanga 46'. Played in a great ball to Pellistri for him to find United's second goal of the game. A real talent in this squad and Solskjaer will have big plans for him this season.

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28 Facundo Pellistri

Replaced Mata 46'. Got United's second goal minutes after coming on, played in by Shoretire and slotted him to aplomb. A great talent to have, even if he will be loaned against to Alaves, or wherever.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Replaced Chong 46'. Could have scored United's third, after conceding one, but he hit the crossbar. Will be annoyed about that.

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52 Joe Hugill

Replaced Greenwood 46'. Came on at the start of the second half. Did not seem to fit into the game and was replaced by Hannibal in the 79th minute of the match.

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48 Will Fish

Replaced Mengi 60'. Did well in the second half. Conceded a goal though but fitness is the major issue here. It was a win for United though.

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58 Di’Shon Bernard

Replaced Tuanzebe 60'. Did well for 30 minutes or so. United conceded after the defensive change was made but this will give the pair (Bernard and Fish) more experience for the future.

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46 Hannibal Mejbri

Replaced Hugill 79'. Brought more energy to the team after replacing Hugill. United had more of the ball but could not do anything with it. Early days for him though, and United.

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Goals: Colin Kazim-Richards 70′; Tahith Chong 18′, Facundo Pellistri 59′

Assists: Isaac Hutchinson 70′; Shola Shoretire 59′

Manchester United: Heaton (Grant 46′); Wan-Bissaka (Galbraith 46′), Tuanzebe (Bernard 60′), Mengi (Fish 60′), Williams (Telles 46′); Garner (Matic 46′), Levitt (Pereira 46′); Elanga (Shoretire 46′), Mata (Pellistri 46′), Chong (Lingard 46′); Greenwood (Hugill 46′ (Hannibal 79′)

Substitutes Not Used: Bishop

Bookings: Lee Buchanan 55′, Louie Sibley 68′

Written by John Walker

Confirmed XI: Greenwood, Chong, Elanga, Levitt and Garner start against Derby

Manchester United start their pre-season campaign against Derby County at Pride Park on Sunday afternoon. It will be the first pre-season campaign since the summer of 2019 when United faced Perth Glory and Leeds United in Perth, Australia, Inter Milan in Singapore, Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai, Kristiansund in Oslo, Norway and AC Milan in Cardiff, Wales. United played just one pre-season match last summer, losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park a week before their season started. This did not help United prepare for the new season, which started poorly for United as they were beaten three times, drawing once and winning twice in three opening six matches. However, the season ended on a better note than it started.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to get something started for his team this summer, getting the majority of the team fit and ready to face Leeds United at Old Trafford in the opening Premier League match which will be played on Saturday 14 August 2021 at 12:30. Because of Euro 2020 and the Copa America, which were both delayed from last summer, Solskjaer will be without many of his first team players for this match, including David De Gea, Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani, plus Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo will be representing the Ivory Coast at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

Manchester United:

Heaton;

Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Mengi, Williams;

Garner, Levitt;

Elanga, Mata, Chong;

Greenwood

Substitutes:

Grant, Bishop; Telles, Fish; Lingard, Pereira, Pellistri, Matic, Hannibal, Galbraith, Bernard, Shoretire; Hugill

Derby County:

Roos;

Byrne, Jagielka, Davies, Buchanan;

Bird, Shinnie,

Aluko, Lawrence, Morrison;

Baldock

Substitutes:

Marshall, Allsop, Forsyth, Williams, Kazim-Richards, Sibley, Hutchinson, Ebosele, McDonald, Knight, Thompson, Watson

United and Derby have met many times in the history of both clubs with a total of 108 competitive matches between the two clubs. United have won 47 times, drawing 29 times with Derby taking the victory 32 times. United last met Derby in the Emirates FA Cup back in March 2020 with Solskjaer’s side winning 3-0 with goals scored by Luke Shaw and a brace from Odion Ighalo, who has now left the club. Derby beat United in the prior match, which was in the Carabao Cup, a 2-2 draw with Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini both scoring but losing 8-7 on penalties after Sergio Romero was sent off and Lee Grant making his competitive debut for the club. Phil Jones saw his penalty saved, which was the end of the road for United in the competition that season.

Wayne Rooney is currently the manager of Derby and has been at the club since August 2019, after returning from the MLS side DC United. Rooney was a player coach but was not eligible to play until January 2020. He was made the interim manager of the Championship club following the sacking of Phillip Cocu. On the 15 January 2021, Rooney retired as a player, focusing on managing Derby for the remainder of the season. His side evaded relegation on the final day of the 2020/21 season, keeping the club in the Championship for at least another season. Derby currently have former United player Tom Lawrence at the club and Teden Mengi was on loan there last season, with the club wanting him again. Ravel Morrison is currently training with Derby.

Written by John Walker

Predicted XI: Heaton, Tuanzebe, Garner, Elanga and Greenwood to start against Derby County?

Manchester United start their pre-season campaign against Derby County at Pride Park on Sunday afternoon. It will be the first pre-season campaign since the summer of 2019 when United faced Perth Glory and Leeds United in Perth, Australia, Inter Milan in Singapore, Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai, Kristiansund in Oslo, Norway and AC Milan in Cardiff, Wales. United played just one pre-season match last summer, losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park a week before their season started. This did not help United prepare for the new season, which started poorly for United as they were beaten three times, drawing once and winning twice in three opening six matches. However, the season ended on a better note than it started.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to get something started for his team this summer, getting the majority of the team fit and ready to face Leeds United at Old Trafford in the opening Premier League match which will be played on Saturday 14 August 2021 at 12:30. Because of Euro 2020 and the Copa America, which were both delayed from last summer, Solskjaer will be without many of his first team players for this match, including David De Gea, Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani, plus Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo will be representing the Ivory Coast at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata, Will Fish, Axel Tuanzebe and Alex Telles – Manchester United website

How United have faired against Derby County.

United and Derby have met many times in the history of both clubs with a total of 108 competitive matches between the two clubs. United have won 47 times, drawing 29 times with Derby taking the victory 32 times. United last met Derby in the Emirates FA Cup back in March 2020 with Solskjaer’s side winning 3-0 with goals scored by Luke Shaw and a brace from Odion Ighalo, who has now left the club. Derby beat United in the prior match, which was in the Carabao Cup, a 2-2 draw with Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini both scoring but losing 8-7 on penalties after Sergio Romero was sent off and Lee Grant making his competitive debut for the club. Phil Jones saw his penalty saved, which was the end of the road for United in the competition that season.

Wayne Rooney is currently the manager of Derby and has been at the club since August 2019, after returning from the MLS side DC United. Rooney was a player coach but was not eligible to play until January 2020. He was made the interim manager of the Championship club following the sacking of Phillip Cocu. On the 15 January 2021, Rooney retired as a player, focusing on managing Derby for the remainder of the season. His side evaded relegation on the final day of the 2020/21 season, keeping the club in the Championship for at least another season. Derby currently have former United player Tom Lawrence at the club and Teden Mengi was on loan there last season, with the club wanting him again. Ravel Morrison is currently training with Derby.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Derby County in their pre-season friendly at Pride Park on Sunday afternoon…

Goalkeeper: Tom Heaton

Tom Heaton came through Manchester United’s academy and was a United player from 2002 until 2010 but never represented the club competitively. Re-signing for the club this summer as a free agent, Heaton will be able to put on his gloves for the club, perhaps for the first time competitively. There is somewhat a goalkeeping dilemma at the club with David De Gea and Dean Henderson seeking to be the first choice goalkeeper at the club and Lee Grant signing a new contract, it would see that Heaton could have been brought in to add some experience, for instance if De Gea leaves the club. It is expected that Heaton could start against Derby County this weekend, which Henderson overcoming an injury, De Gea on holiday and Grant already playing a lesser role at the club. Heaton played 200 times for Burnley, performing well against United at times.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Teden Mengi, Alex Telles

United will be without the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw for the first few matches of pre-season because of their involvement in Euro 2020. Against Derby, there will be an experienced defence with possible Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles playing in the fullback positions but with Axel Tuanzebe and Teden Mengi starting in the centre of the back four. Eric Bailly is also out of action because of his involvement in the Olympics for the Ivory Coast. Will Fish and Brandon Williams could also find some involvement in this match, but Phil Jones looks set to miss it, having not been seen training with his teammates this week, which does not look good for his future at the club. Perhaps he is still getting over his knee injury, which kept him out of the entire 2020/21 season with him last featuring for United in January 2020.

Midfield: Andreas Pereira, James Garner

Solskjaer will be missing Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay and Fred because of their involvement in Euro 2020 and Copa America. Nemanja Matic has been readying himself for the new season and could well start against Derby but I think the due of Andreas Pereira and James Garner have a better chance of starting as both players will need to secure loan spells away from United as Garner looks to gain more experience, preferably in the Premier League and Pereira will be surplus to requirements once again. This could be a good match for Garner as he will be able to show Solskjaer what he’s got in his locker and with United not having another defence midfielder at the club, other than Matic, Garner could carve out a place in the first team. A season of playing in the Premier League, on loan, would give him much more ahead of the 2022/23 season at the club.

Attacking Midfield: Facundo Pellistri, Juan Mata, Anthony Elanga

Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Daniel James are out of action because of their involvement in Euro 2020 and Anthony Martial is still overcoming an injury which kept him out for the end of last season. Solskjaer will have more fringe and youth players than he will have experience for this first game of pre-season. Facundo Pellistri could start on the right-wing against Derby with Juan Mata slotting in the middle of the three behind the striker. Anthony Elanga could feature on the left-wing, which would be good to see as he was given minutes at the end of the season with United confirming their second-placed finish in the Premier League with many first team players rested for the UEFA Europa League final. The likes of Jesse Lingard, Hannibal Mejbri, Shola Shoretire, and Tahith Chong could well feature in this match, which would also be good to see.

Forwards: Mason Greenwood

Mason Greenwood is the only experienced forward who could play in this position against Derby. Edinson Cavani is missing because of his involvement in Copa America, Martial is returning from a knee injury and Rashford is out because of his involvement in Euro 2020, which saw England reach the final, only to be beaten by Italy on penalties. Greenwood has been playing a wide role of late but has featured as the main striker on a number of occasions and that is probably the position that he will end up playing at some point in his career. Solskjaer wants it, United want it, the fans want it and the player wants it too. Joe Hugill, who rose to fame in the academy last season, could feature against Derby, which would be good to see as his goalscoring antics were impressive last season, finishing with 16 goals and three assists at both U23 and U18 level last season.

Substitutes: Lee Grant, Dean Henderson; Brandon Williams, Will Fish; Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Hannibal Mejbri, Di’Shon Bernard, Shola Shoretire, Ethan Galbraith; Tahith Chong, Joe Hugill

There are likely to be many substitutions against Derby with Solskjaer seeking to give most of the players that are available to him a run out against the Championship side. Both Lee Grant and Dean Henderson could be available in goal with Brandon Williams and Will Fish in the defensive positions. In midfield, United have the most players available with Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Hannibal Mejbri, Di’Shon Bernard, Shola Shoretire and Ethan Galbraith all available. In the attacking positions, Tahith Chong and Joe Hugill could play a part in the match. Obviously, this squad has been built by the players who have been training this week and there could well be more additions or some players not being involved at all. In the coming weeks, United will start to welcome back the more experienced players so they can get the new season started.

Written by John Walker

Preview: Manchester United to up fitness levels against Derby County

Derby County -v- Manchester United

Pre-Season 2021/22

Pride Park, Derby

Sunday 18 July 2021, KO 13:00 BST

Manchester United start their pre-season campaign against Derby County at Pride Park on Sunday afternoon. It will be the first pre-season campaign since the summer of 2019 when United faced Perth Glory and Leeds United in Perth, Australia, Inter Milan in Singapore, Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai, Kristiansund in Oslo, Norway and AC Milan in Cardiff, Wales. United played just one pre-season match last summer, losing to Aston Villa at Villa Park a week before their season started. This did not help United prepare for the new season, which started poorly for United as they were beaten three times, drawing once and winning twice in three opening six matches. However, the season ended on a better note than it started.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be seeking to get something started for his team this summer, getting the majority of the team fit and ready to face Leeds United at Old Trafford in the opening Premier League match which will be played on Saturday 14 August 2021 at 12:30. Because of Euro 2020 and the Copa America, which were both delayed from last summer, Solskjaer will be without many of his first team players for this match, including David De Gea, Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani, plus Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo will be representing the Ivory Coast at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer.

Nathan Bishop, Lee Grant, Matej Kovar, Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton – Manchester United website

A summer of changes but a first pre-season match with fringe players and youth is exciting…

This summer, there will be many changes to the United squad with Jadon Sancho waiting to be announced as a United player and moves for both Raphaël Varane and Kieran Trippier hotting up in the background. With speculation linking Paul Pogba to Paris Saint-Germain, United have also been linked to Houssem Aouar this summer, but it is expected that a move for a defensive minded instead as that would be a position that would allow the formation to be changed with United playing a more attacking brand of football next season. That said, there is still a lot of time in the summer transfer window for anything to happen and the fact that Sancho, Varane and Trippier seem likely would be the start of a good summer for United.

During the course of the week, there have been many players training ahead of the first pre-season match of the summer. New goalkeeper signing Tom Heaton is expected to make an appearance for United, but also Lee Grant, Dean Henderson, Nathan Bishop and Matej Kovar have been readying themselves too. In defence, Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, Will Fish and Teden Mengi have been involved. In midfield, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira, Facundo Pellistri, Nemanja Matic, James Garner, Di’Shon Bernard, Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejbri, Ethan Galbraith and in attack, Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, Anthony Elanga, Joe Hugill were all pictured, which could make for an exciting mix of players for this first pre-season match.

Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata, Will Fish, Axel Tuanzebe and Alex Telles – Manchester United website

Previous meetings with Derby County and their Manchester United connections…

United and Derby have met many times in the history of both clubs with a total of 108 competitive matches between the two clubs. United have won 47 times, drawing 29 times with Derby taking the victory 32 times. United last met Derby in the Emirates FA Cup back in March 2020 with Solskjaer’s side winning 3-0 with goals scored by Luke Shaw and a brace from Odion Ighalo, who has now left the club. Derby beat United in the prior match, which was in the Carabao Cup, a 2-2 draw with Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini both scoring but losing 8-7 on penalties after Sergio Romero was sent off and Lee Grant making his competitive debut for the club. Phil Jones saw his penalty saved, which was the end of the road for United in the competition that season.

Wayne Rooney is currently the manager of Derby and has been at the club since August 2019, after returning from the MLS side DC United. Rooney was a player coach but was not eligible to play until January 2020. He was made the interim manager of the Championship club following the sacking of Phillip Cocu. On the 15 January 2021, Rooney retired as a player, focusing on managing Derby for the remainder of the season. His side evaded relegation on the final day of the 2020/21 season, keeping the club in the Championship for at least another season. Derby currently have former United player Tom Lawrence at the club and Teden Mengi was on loan there last season, with the club wanting him again. Ravel Morrison is currently training with Derby.

Joe Hugill, Ethan Galbraith, Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood and Shola Shoretire – Manchester United website

Predicted Starting XI: Juan Mata to captain United, Mason Greenwood to spearhead United’s attack, flanked by Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri?

Solskjaer has few options at this stage of the pre-season campaign, which is an exciting prospect. Of course, this stage of the summer is not about winning, it is about fitness and unlike last season, United will be seeking to make some waves ahead of the Premier League opener against Leeds United at the Theatre of Dreams. With both Euro 2020 and the Copa America seeing many senior players out of action with all missing the first match, but others coming back in dribs and drabs between now and the final two pre-season matches, giving some promising youth players some involvement ahead of prospective loan spells away from the club or getting ready for the U18 and U23 seasons starting.

The squad for this match has been prepared based on the players who have been seen in training earlier in the week. It is quite possibly a fact that more players will have been present, but were not photographed for whatever reason. Solskjaer will have a number of players heading to Derby for Sunday’s clash and hopefully the likes of Hannibal Mejbri, Alvaro Fernandez, Ethan Laird, Zidane Iqbal, Isak Hansen and Joe Hugill could have some involvement. United had 23 players training earlier in the week, so that might end up being the squad, however, in that group of players was five goalkeepers, which might be a bit much so some outfield players will need to be added to the squad so there can be many changes, allowing all players time on the pitch.

Michael Carrick and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Manchester United website

Match Prediction: Pre-season is not about winning – it is all about fitness and after last season’s preparation, United will be doing things properly.

Both United and Derby will be looking at this fixture in the same manner – being about fitness than winning. See football supporters expect United to win every match they play, even in pre-season, which seems a bit weird. There will be supporters at Pride Park on Sunday, both home and away and it will be good to see something like that after the past 19 months, which has seen the majority of matches played behind closed doors. It will be good to see club football make it’s return after Euro 2020 and the first pre-season campaign in two years, which should see a majority squad of youth players get some minutes under their belt. Obviously it would be great if United won and many players put their names in lights.

Rooney and Solskjaer will be looking to see the best of their squads, at least the players that they have available for the match on Sunday and the supporters, for both sides, will be looking to make a noise in the stadium and show the players that they are still there to support them. As fitness is the main part of these matches, both managers will be seeking to get at least 60 minutes out of some players to get the prepared for the new season. United will have more first team players available for later matches this summer, with some returning before the clash with Queens Park Rangers. The majority of the squad will be available for the final two matches – against Preston North End (away) and Everton (home).

Derby County 0-3 Manchester United

Written by John Walker

Review & Ratings: Ighalo double sees United finish Derby off in 3-0 victory; Shaw MOTM, Fernandes did well, McTominay back

Manchester United beat Derby County 3-0 in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup at Pride Park on Thursday evening. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will now progress to face Norwich City at Carrow Road later this month. A goal from Luke Shaw and a brace from Odion Ighalo was enough to put United through. Not a great result for Wayne Rooney though, who was on the losing side in this match.

United started the game in fine fettle, pushing to score an early goal, which was not coming. United had more opportunities on goal than the home side with 10 attempts, three on target, one off target and six shots blocked unto and including United’s opener which was scored by Luke Shaw, although there was a bit of a deflection on Jesse Lingard, who surely would not try to claim that goal?

United scored a second goal in the first half with Odion Ighalo scoring his second goal for the club in the 41st minute of the match. Shaw was integral to the goal with him driving forward and trying to feed the ball to the Nigerian and would have had the assist if the ball did not deflect slightly off the Derby defender. At the end of the first half, United had 12 shots on goal, four being on target, one being off and seven being blocked.

United scored a third goal in the match twenty minutes from time with Ighalo scoring a second of the evening, his third goal for the club. Juan Mata could have had an assist after he squared the ball into the Nigerian but Derby tried to cut out possession but Ighalo regained control of the ball and smashed his shot into the roof of the net. United were 3-0 and heading into the quarter finals of the FA Cup, facing Norwich City.

Manchester United

Review & Ratings: Ighalo double sees United finish Derby off in 3-0 victory; Shaw MOTM, Fernandes did well, McTominay back

Another clean sheet for United and Romero. The best second-choice goalkeeper in the Premier League. Derby had little to throw at him during the match. He was tested by Rooney in added time.

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20 Diogo Dalot

The Portuguese defender did well at right-back with Wan-Bissaka out injured. He was calm and composed and tried to play the ball forward much of the time. He was not pressure much by Derby.

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2 Victor Lindelof

The iceman played well although Derby did not get much involvement in attack in the game. United were pulling the strings from start to finish.

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3 Eric Bailly

It was good to see Bailly back in the team. I think he should be playing alongside Maguire in the back four ahead of Lindelof at this moment in time. However, with Maguire's injury, it might not happen at the present time, but it should. He was calm and composed despite Derby having few credible shots on goal.

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23 Luke Shaw

The left-back had a great match against Derby scoring the opening goal, although there was a slight deflection off Lingard and literally teeing up the second goal, which he could have had the assist for if the ball did not deflect off a Derby defender. Williams has helped him raise his game, which was much-needed.

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17 Fred

The Brazilian had a quiet game at times on his 27th birthday. United had Derby in their sights from the kick off and did enough to get the better of them.

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39 Scott McTominay

The midfielder had a good game and certainly seems to be the player with the fire in his belly, chasing down Sibley at times in the game. It is good to see the player back in the team after his injury layoff and he seems to have wasted no time getting back into the team and performing. One of his teammates might want to look at the way McTominay has done this.

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8 Juan Mata

Magic. The Spanish midfielder reads the game superbly well and was one of United's best players in the game. He used the width he was playing in to help United create, which is something United had seen a lot of against Derby. Mata was unlucky not the get an assist for Ighalo's second goal of the game but a defender tried to intercept the ball with Ighalo getting it back before scoring.

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18 Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese midfielder was pulling the strings for United against Derby. In the first half, it looked as if he'd suffered an injury, landing awkwardly after a challenge but he was fine. Fernandes was replaced by Pereira in the 67th minute of the match.

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14 Jesse Lingard

Lingard did well at times but still has a lot to do in order to become a regular starting player for the club. I was not all that impressed with his attacking ability in the game - he should be doing much better than he is. Sad signs that he could be heading into his career decline now.

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Review & Ratings: Ighalo double sees United finish Derby off in 3-0 victory; Shaw MOTM, Fernandes did well, McTominay back

The Nigerian scored twice for United against Derby, taking his goal tally to three now. It was good to see him join the ranks of Quinton Fortune, who was until tonight the only African player to score for United in the FA Cup.

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Substitutes

15 Andreas Pereira

Replaced Fernandes 67'. Helped United tick over in midfield after the main creator, recently, was given a short rest ahead of Sunday's big match. I don't think he did much on or off the ball.

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9 Anthony Martial

Replaced Fred 74'. At 3-0 down, Derby would not have been happy seeing him come on. The damage was already done before he replaced Fred with 16 minutes to go.

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33 Brandon Williams

Replaced Shaw 80'. Came on with ten minutes left, giving Shaw a rest after his appearance against Derby which saw him score a goal and turn provider. Williams used his class and skill to keep United ticking.

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Goals: Luke Shaw 33′, Odion Ighalo 41′, 70′

Assists: N/A

Manchester United: Romero; Dalot, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw (Williams 80′); Fred (Martial 74′), McTominay; Mata, Fernandes (Pereira 67′), Lingard; Ighalo

Substitutes Not Used: De Gea; Tuanzebe; Matic; Greenwood

Bookings: Wayne Rooney 45+2′; Luke Shaw 17′, Eric Bailly 64′, Brandon Williams 90+3′

Confirmed Starting XI: Ighalo leads the line against Derby; Fernandes, Mata, Dalot and Bailly all start; Tuanzebe on the bench

Manchester United will be back in Emirates FA Cup action this evening as they travel to face Derby County at Pride Park. Phillip Cocu’s side will be seeking to do what they did under Frank Lampard – beat United and earn a quarter-final place in the tournament this season. However, at Pride Park, United have a good record, winning in their last two visits, losing in the one before which was about a decade ago.

Solskjaer will be hoping that United do better than they did against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, coming away with a point after a 1-1 draw, which could have easily been a defeat for United with VAR cancelling out a late winner for the home aide. VAR will not be involved at Pride Park on Thursday though. United need to ensure their eight match unbeaten run continues ahead of Sunday’s test.

United will be back in Premier League action this weekend with Manchester City travelling to the Theatre of Dreams for the second Manchester derby (in the league) this season, effectively the fourth derby of the season with the Carabao Cup matches included. A win against Derby will keep the belief high and despite winning at the Etihad twice this season, doing it at home will be more important.

Manchester United:

Romero;

Dalot, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw;

Fred, McTominay;

Mata, Fernandes, Lingard;

Ighalo

Substitutes:

De Gea; Tuanzebe, Williams; Pereira, Matic; Martial, Greenwood

Derby County:

Roos;

Bogle, Evans, Forsyth, Lowe;

Sibley, Bird;

Knight, Rooney, Lawrence;

Waghorn

Substitutes:

Hamer, Shinnie, Marriott, Clarke, Martin, Davies, Whittaker

United and Derby have played a total of 107 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 46 times, drawn 29 times and lost 32 times. United and Derby last met in the Carabao Cup back in September 2018, a 2-2 draw, 8-7 penalty loss in a match which saw Sergio Romero sent off and Lee Grant coming off the bench to make his first appearance for the club.

In the previous four matches, three of them in the Emirates FA Cup, another in the League Cup, United have won them all, scoring 13 goals, conceding four and keeping one clean sheet. The last time United were defeated at Pride Park was in January 2009, a 1-0 defeat in the League Cup with Kris Commons scoring the only goal of the game. United have been to Pride Park twice since (2009 and 2016) winning both matches.

How Manchester United could look against Derby County; 4-3-1-2 with Ighalo and Martial leading the line, Fernandes in behind and McTominay, Matic and Fred in midfield?

Manchester United will be back in Emirates FA Cup action on Thursday evening as they travel to face Derby County at Pride Park. Phillip Cocu’s side will be seeking to do what they did under Frank Lampard – beat United and earn a quarter-final place in the tournament this season. However, at Pride Park, United have a good record, winning in their last two visits, losing in the one before which was about a decade ago.

Solskjaer will be hoping that United do better than they did against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, coming away with a point after a 1-1 draw, which could have easily been a defeat for United with VAR cancelling out a late winner for the home aide. VAR will not be involved at Pride Park on Thursday though. United need to ensure their eight match unbeaten run continues ahead of Sunday’s test.

United will be back in Premier League action this weekend with Manchester City travelling to the Theatre of Dreams for the second Manchester derby (in the league) this season, effectively the fourth derby of the season with the Carabao Cup matches included. A win against Derby will keep the belief high and despite winning at the Etihad twice this season, doing it at home will be more important.

Here is my predicted starting XI to face Derby County in the Emirates FA Cup at Pride Park on Thursday evening…

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero has been a player United need when he has ben called upon this season. Calm and composed, the Argentinian is a great stand in goalkeeper. With David De Gea in a period whereby his form has come under question, giving him the time to overcome that in training, especially ahead of an important match against Manchester City at the weekend. Romero gives his best every time he plays and has kept many clean sheets when he has played this season.

Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw

The defence has been in good form at this stage of the season. Against Derby though, one change will be needed. Victor Lindelof needs to sit out of matches for a period of time as he has not been the confident player that he has been in the past. Eric Bailly should be given the chance to form a partnership with Harry Maguire in the back for. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should keep their places as the fullbacks in the starting XI for this game. United have only conceded two goals in their last eight matches, which is seeing them head in the right direction at an important stage of the season – the business end.

Midfield: Fred, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay

The midfield has been gaining strength with injured players coming back at an important time. With the signing of Bruno Fernandes and the return to fitness and form of Scott McTominay, added to the fact that Paul Pogba is nearing his long-awaited return, the strength in the midfield will be the best it has been for a number of years. Against Derby, I expect to see a three-man midfield, like the one which played against Everton on Sunday with McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred all starting.

Attacking Midfield: Bruno Fernandes

The Portuguese international has been a breath of fresh air since he signed for the club in January. In six appearances so far, Fernandes has three goals, two assists and four MOTM awards from the club. This is great to see with United lacking creativity in the team this season with Pogba and McTominay on the sidelines for long periods of time. Fernandes is he guy that can do the damage to the opposition that United have been seeking for a while. Having him play ahead of a three-man midfield and behind a two-man forward line could be devastating for Derby and other opposition this season.

Forwards: Odion Ighalo, Anthony Martial

United have a good striker in Odion Ighalo and after he scored his first goal for the club in the UEFA Europa League against Club Brugge, he will be seeking to score many more. The Premier League has been a happy hunting ground for him in the past and he could unlock that soon. Against Derby though, he could get himself to cut his teeth a bit more, showing the Championship side the difference between the two clubs now. Playing with Anthony Martial could be key with Martial doing a lot more in attacking areas than other players with Ighalo being in the box to latch onto crosses and hold up the play in the box with United on the attack. It could be a match to unlock the goals.

Substitutes: David De Gea; Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot, Brandon Williams; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard; Mason Greenwood

Solskjaer will need to have players available on the bench if the need arises for them to be involved in the game. David De Gea will be the goalkeeper on the bench and will be beneficial if needed. In defence, Axel Tuanzebe could be on the bench giving some different options with Diogo Dalot and Brandon Williams offering in both fullback positions, also at wing-back if the formation needs to be changes. In midfield, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard could offer something, the latter option needs to start doing just that. In the forward area, Mason Greenwood could be the player to offer something from the bench, if it is needed but it would be good to see him involved somewhere.

Preview: Manchester United seeking to lock the Rams out of the Emirates FA Cup at Pride Park; Ighalo, Martial and Fernandes key to this

Derby County -v- Manchester United

Emirates FA Cup

Pride Park, Derby

Thursday 5 March 2020, KO 19:45 GMT

Referee: Craig Pawson Assistants: Ian Hussin, Daniel Robathan Fourth Official: Lee Mason

Manchester United will be back in Emirates FA Cup action on Thursday evening as they travel to face Derby County at Pride Park. Phillip Cocu’s side will be seeking to do what they did under Frank Lampard – beat United and earn a quarter-final place in the tournament this season. However, at Pride Park, United have a good record, winning in their last two visits, losing in the one before which was about a decade ago.

Solskjaer will be hoping that United do better than they did against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, coming away with a point after a 1-1 draw, which could have easily been a defeat for United with VAR cancelling out a late winner for the home aide. VAR will not be involved at Pride Park on Thursday though. United need to ensure their eight match unbeaten run continues ahead of Sunday’s test.

United will be back in Premier League action this weekend with Manchester City travelling to the Theatre of Dreams for the second Manchester derby (in the league) this season, effectively the fourth derby of the season with the Carabao Cup matches included. A win against Derby will keep the belief high and despite winning at the Etihad twice this season, doing it at home will be more important.

Form: United unbeaten in their last six matches, winning three times and drawing three times. Derby not in great form with two wins, two draws and two defeats in their last six matches.

Manchester United: DWWDWD

Everton 1-1 D, Club Brugge 5-0 W, Watford 3-0 W, Club Brugge 1-1 D, Chelsea 2-0 W, Wolverhampton Wanderers 0-0 D

Derby County: WLDDLW

Sheffield Wednesday 3-1 W, Queens Park Rangers 2-1 L, Fulham 1-1 D, Huddersfield Town 1-1 D, Bristol City 3-2 L, Swansea City 3-2 W

Top Scorers: 72 goals scored for United this season with Derby managing just 51 goals in all competitions. Could Rooney score against United? Fernandes to steak the show again?

Manchester United Goals: 19 – Marcus Rashford, 15 – Anthony Martial, 11 – Mason Greenwood, 4 – Scott McTominay, 3 – Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, 2 – Fred, Own Goal, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, 1 – Diogo Dalot, Odion Ighalo, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Nemanja Matic, Andreas Pereira, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young

United have done well recently, sitting eight matches into an unbeaten run which has seen them add some pressure on Chelsea for a place in the top four this season. In those eight matches, United have scored 19 goals, conceding two goals, and keeping six clean sheet. United need to keep pushing on, stopping the draws, with three of them in the last eight matches. This match will be crucial, as will the matches for the rest of the month with United also heading back into the UEFA Europa League.

Derby County Goals: 12 – Martyn Waghorn, 9 – Tom Lawrence, 8 – Chris Martin, 4 – Jason Knight, Wayne Rooney, 3 – Duane Holmes, Jack Marriott, 1 – Jayden Bogle, Lee Buchanan, Matthew Clarke, Tom Huddlestone, Scott Malone, Jamie Paterson, Graeme Shinnie, Andre Wisdom

Derby have not been in great form recently. They currently sit in thirteenth place in the Championship table after 36 matches, winning 12, drawing 12 and losing 12 matches this season. In their last six matches, two wins, two draws and two defeats puts them in mixed form. However, Derby has scored 11 goals, conceded 10 goals, keeping no clean sheets, which could be problematic for them against the likes of Ighalo, Martial and Fernandes, not to mention Mason Greenwood, if he gets the opportunity to play in this match.

Team News: Rashford, Pogba and Grant out of action for the Derby match whereas Tuanzebe, Fosu-Mensah and James could be back in the squad.

Heading into the match against Derby, United have just three players on the sidelines through injury after Axel Tuanzebe and Tim Fosu-Mensah both returned to action for the U23s against Stoke City. Marcus Rashford (lower back), Lee Grant (wrist), Paul Pogba (ankle) will still be out of action. Daniel James (knock) could be fit in time to face Derby after missing the 1-1 draw with Everton.

Derby manager Phillip Cocu could still be without Duane Holmes (ankle), Ikechi Anya (calf), Krystian Bielik (knee), Tom Huddlestone (hamstring) for the visit of United to Pride Park but George Evans (calf) could boost the manager’s squad after seemingly recovering from his injury. Wayne Rooney and Tom Lawrence could both face their former club which could be a big night for them.

Predicted Starting XI: Martial and Ighalo leading the line, Fernandes in behind with midfield three of McTominay, Matic and Fred against Derby at Pride Park?

I don’t think Solskjaer will make many changes for this match, not in the starting XI anyway. United need to win to keep their hopes of a trophy this season alive. Odion Ighalo and Anthony Martial should lead the line with Bruno Fernandes in behind them. A midfield three of Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Fred would work like it did on Sunday. The four man defence of Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly and Aaron Wan-Bissaka with Sergio Romero in goal.

Match Prediction: United looking to beat Derby after losing on penalties in their last match back in September 2018. United have not lost at Pride Park since January 2009.

United and Derby have played a total of 107 matches in this history of both clubs with the first match being played in 1892. United have won 46 times, drawn 29 times and lost 32 times. United and Derby last met in the Carabao Cup back in September 2018, a 2-2 draw, 8-7 penalty loss in a match which saw Sergio Romero sent off and Lee Grant coming off the bench to make his first appearance for the club.

In the previous four matches, three of them in the Emirates FA Cup, another in the League Cup, United have won them all, scoring 13 goals, conceding four and keeping one clean sheet. The last time United were defeated at Pride Park was in January 2009, a 1-0 defeat in the League Cup with Kris Commons scoring the only goal of the game. United have been to Pride Park twice since (2009 and 2016) winning both matches.

Derby County 1-3 Manchester United

copyright: JW