Manchester United vs Real Madrid ICC Preview
|Image from the Vancouver.carpediem.cd|
Well, its not been a great preseason so far; two draws to Club America and San Jose, a penalty shootout victory after a 1-1 draw with AC Milan, then a stale performance as Liverpool thumped United 4-1 in thre Michigan Stadium. With Matic, Valencia and Smalling all succumbing to injuries, Martial allowed to go home to be with his newborn child, Darmian requesting to leave United for gametime and on top of it all, the lack of transfers has dubbed this summer a ‘preseason of complaints’ as a lack of first team players and professional performances has left Jose Mourinho fuming and disappointed so far. The final ICC game for Manchester United will be against Los Blancos in the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Real Madrid have finally relinquished their star player, Cristiano Ronaldo for a hefty fee of around £105m to Juventus and are looking to prove they can still compete without the Portugese star. This will be their first match since winning the Champions League and will play Juventus and Roma after the Red Devils before playing in the Madrid Derby for the UEFA Super Cup. It is unlikely that Real Madrid will have World Cup finalists Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic and Raphael Varane for the match, but those players who featured for Spain and Brazil who were knocked out by Russia in the Round of 16 and Belgium in the Quarter Finals respectively, could still feature for the European Champions. This gives them an almost full first team squad with crucial players such as Bale and Benzema both having a whole summer to train in Madrid and will be raring to go. Manchester United on the other hand are definitely without Valencia and Matic but Shaw, Bailly and Smalling could all feature despite all having slight niggling injuries. Fred made his debut for 20 minutes against Liverpool and could start his first game for United. David de Gea trained with the team before the Liverpool game and could also feature against the side that he has been so heavily linked to for so long.
Goalkeeper: Lee Grant/David de Gea
Coin toss for either of them to start really but one will play one half and the other will play in the second half.
Defenders: Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Tuanzebe, Shaw
Bailly or Smalling depending on fitness but the rest should feature. Darmian has been given an out at United and Napoli has made a loan offer and so may be distracted with his future up in the air. Shaw is the only true left back at the club with Borthwick-Jackson leaving the club on loan and Blind being sold back to Ajax.
Midfielders: Andreas Pereira, Fred, Ander Herrera
Pereira has been one of the standout players of a dismal preseason and his freekick against Liverpool epitomised this. Herrera was poor against Liverpool but should feature as captain. Fred did not have enough time to make an impact and the game was lost by then already. He should perform better from the off and will be ready to make an impact.
Forwards: Juan Mata, Alexis Sanchez, Taith Chong
Mata and Sanchez have played in every game of the preseason tour and have combined well so far. Chong looked impressive when coming on and would be a better outfit than Demi Mitchell on the wing, who looked unsure of his position.
United are the sharper side and have more matches under them but Real Madrid are the better side on paper. This could be a tight game but Manchester United need to send a statement out to the other teams in the Premier League and Europe alike.
PREDICTED SCORE: 2-1 to United