Manchester United take on San Jose Earthquakes after a 1-1 draw to Club America. After a bang average transfer window (as it stands), it is time to watch our club in the flesh. After the first game saw us make whole sale changes to the side, it is time to test some more of the fringe players of the squad.
Manchester United previously played San Jose Earthquakes in 2015. We won that game 3-1 with Mata, Memphis, and Pereira getting the goals. Only few players remain from the squad that played the game that day.
Darmian made an appearance in the previous game which was probably because it was his last one as deals with either Inter and Juve seem imminent. Elsewhere, even Andreas Periera got minutes on the clock. He was however playing a little deeper role than he usually does. Another player who really impressed was Tahith Chong. He was not extraordinary but he did not look out of place in that squad at the age of 17. Chong also played in the cross that led to our goal. I really hope to see more time given to him in the next few games.
The next player I want to talk about is Luke Shaw. I was a big fan of his and turned into a big critic last season but now he has my full backing. Shaw arrived at the club with bags of potential but questions were always raised about his fitness. Then a double leg break injury ruined a large part of his time at United. During the summer, photos of him with a belly emerged and got him a lot of criticism. However, he smashed the pre-season fitness tests and had the best scores. He also reportedly turned down an opportunity to move to Everton this summer. If he is ready to stay and fight for his place at the club, he has my full backing.
Anyway, let us take a look at the potential lineup for the game on Sunday night.
|Image Source: San Jose Earthquakes|
Goalkeepers: Lee Grant
Since Romero hasn’t made a full recovery from injury, we’re likely to see Grant in goal. Lee Grant kept a clean sheet against Club America. In the second half, we might see Joel Pereira get subbed on. He will most probably get loaned out before the transfer window gets over.
Defenders: Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw
After Jose openly mentioned that the back line that played against Club America looks the strongest, it is unlikely that he’ll make any changes. I would have loved to see Diogo Dalot make an appearance but he is out injured and won’t make it back before the pre-season gets over.
Midfielders: Ethan Hamilton, Scott McTominay, Andreas Periera
I’d make the midfield out of academy boys. Ethan Hamilton is one of the young lads on the trip. He was the captain of the youth side it will be exciting to see what he brings to the central midfield position. This midfield isn’t perfect but preseason is the time to do experiments with the players and analyse accordingly.
Forwards: Juan Mata, Demetri Mitchell, Tahith Chong
Chong deserves a start after his performance against Club America. I really want Jose to bring on Angel Gomes in the second half. That lad is special and needs time on the pitch. Juan Mata keeps his place after his goal and good game at the false 9 position, and with Martial’s knock in the previous game, it wouldn’t be wise to risk it.
So that is the lineup that I would go with. Let us hope the youngsters get a shine and they play well. Let us also hope that we sign someone soon as all the other teams around us have been really doing a lot of business.
Score Prediction: 2-1 to United.