Manchester United will take on Melbourne Victory in today’s pre-season friendly at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.
The Red Devils made a stunning start to pre-season with a 4-0 win over rivals Liverpool at the Rajamangala Stadium in Thailand on Tuesday.
It was a terrific start in Erik ten Hag’s first appearance in the United dug-out. The 52-year-old will be eyeing another strong performance.
The Dutchman picked a strong starting XI to kick-off against Liverpool, and we expect more of the same against Victory later today.
David de Gea picked up a knock after the hour mark of United’s 4-0 win in Bangkok, and was replaced by Tom Heaton in goal. Heaton may get the nod between the sticks if the Spaniard has any fitness concern.
In the backline, there could be at least three changes. We fancy Diogo Dalot to continue at right-back, but Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane could make way for Eric Bailly and Harry Maguire in central defence.
Maguire missed the Reds clash with a minor injury, but has been deemed fit to play 45 minutes. The club captain could be paired with Bailly, who was excellent in the second half on Tuesday with several interceptions.
The Ivorian’s future remains a topic of speculation with the anticipated arrival of Lisandro Martinez, but he should still be rewarded with a starting spot on the back of the stand-out defensive showing.
At left-back, it could be a straight swap with summer signing Tyrell Malacia coming in for Luke Shaw. The Netherlands international had a good friendly debut this week, keeping Mohamed Salah at bay.
In midfield, we don’t anticipate any changes from Tuesday. Scott McTominay and Fred started in Bangkok, and the latter came up with an audacious chip to find the back of the net (second goal).
For the time being, they should be Ten Hag’s preferred combination in the centre of the park, considering he has clearly mentioned that Donny van de Beek is more comfortable playing behind the striker.
Further forward, we anticipate a solitary change with Van de Beek starting ahead of Bruno Fernandes in the number 10 role. The rest of the attack could be identical to the first half against Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford could regularly interchange their positions out wide. Anthony Martial is due to lead the line again. We may see youngsters coming into the fray at half-time or the hour mark.
How Man Utd could line up against Melbourne Victory
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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