Manchester United to face AC Milan. If only it was 2008 and not 2018, this fixture probably would have been in the latter stages of the Champions League. But how times have changed and the two giants of European football have fallen. While AC Milan now play in Europa League, United have failed to reach the Quarter Finals of the Champions League in last 4 seasons. These two heavyweights now meet in a pre-season friendly at the Rose Bowl in California.
United have lacked sharpness in this preseason tour so far. Almost a dozen first-team players are on vacations after their World Cup duties and the lack of quality is there to be seen on the pitch. Mourinho has got in a lot of youth players and they are trying their best to impress the manager. But kids of 17-18 years of age can only do so much. Apart from Alexis Sanchez and Andreas Perreira, United lacked any ideas on how to break down San Jose Earthquakes’ defense. It was a dull game, even for the preseason standards. In the end, United scrapped a 0-0 draw as the American side tried to get the winner late on.
One of Mourinho’s trusted generals, Nemanja Matic joined the group a couple of days ago. His presence in the midfield along with Perreria and Herrera should give United both steel and creativity in the center of the park. But its highly unlikely that the Serbian international will start the game as Mourinho wouldn’t want to risk one of his main men after Tony Valencia was injured in the previous game. David De Gea and Fred are expected to join the team next week. Tahith Chong is a bundle of energy and made life difficult for defenders in both the games with his pace and trickery. But the real worry for United is the form and attitude of Anthony Martial. The Frenchman looked sharp in the first game against Club America but utterly disinterested in the second game and he didn’t get any help from his teammates as they were equally poor.
Hopefully, United can turn up for this fancy big season fixture and give the fans in the US something to cheer for.