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Pre-season is well and truly underway with Premier League clubs playing friendly matches every other day. Manchester United will face off against Borussia Dortmund in the first match of the International Champions Cup and then will take on city rivals Manchester City on 25th July. This match will also pit Henrikh Mkhitaryan against his former employees. United started off their pre-season with a routine 2-0 victory over Wigan Athletic. It was the 23-year-old striker Will Keane, who opened the scoring for the Reds followed by a goal from Andreas Pereira.
Two of the three United summer signings were on display against Wigan, as Ibrahimovic is still on holiday after finishing off his international career with Sweden at the recently concluded European Championship. Both Bailly and Mkhitaryan were highly impressive in the limited game time they got. Most of the first team players have returned for pre-season training except Ibrahimovic and Schweinsteiger, who recently got married. It will be interesting to see what line-up Jose goes with now that he has most of the senior players back. There is still a few gaps in the side, which Jose would be wise to plug before the new season takes off, therefore the line-up on Friday will have very little similarity to what we see on the first day of the season.
Johnstone did well in the first match, although he didn’t have a lot to do, he will be expected to continue between the sticks for this one. He found himself in the limelight last season after Van Gaal selected him over Romero and overlooked De Gea for the first few matches.
Eric Bailly got his first chance to showcase his abilities in a United jersey against Wigan and is likely to start tomorrow alongside Phil Jones. The Ivorian did well in the first game, keeping the back line organized, while Jones will start his first match after a long time. Fosu Mensah was highly impressive in the last match. The 18-year old has a lot of potential and will definitely be in Mourinho’s plans for next season. Luka Shaw who is still on the path to full fitness after a horrific double leg fracture early last season and will be expected to take the left-back position.
Mourinho will most likely go with a host of senior players in the midfield, In order to find that perfect combination before the season kicks off on August 13th. Carrick, who captained the side last time around will continue in central midfield alongside the most adventurous Herrera. Mata who was left on the substitute bench last time around will be vying for a starting birth in the number 10 role. Mkhitaryan will be up against his former club and after an impressive debut match, is mostly likely to feature on the right wing. While Pereira will be hoping for a starting place on the left-wing after scoring United’s second goal against Wigan.
With Rooney having just returned from his summer holidays and Martial still recovering from his European adventure, Will Keane is most likely to start upfront for United against Borussia Dortmund. He opened the scoring for the Reds against Wigan.