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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