United’s first 2 Pre-season games
It’s easy to read too much into the games that United have played in pre-season so far, but it’s probable to think that Ole is happy with the outcome of the first two games. United started their pre-season campaign with a comfortable win over Australian side Perth Glory, where new signing Daniel James impressed with his pace & movement. United ended their time in Australia with a convincing win over local rivals, Leeds United. United got off to a great start with the ever-promising Mason Greenwood getting his first goal for the senior side after some lovely work from Aaron Wan-Bissaka down the right-hand side. Marcus Rashford added to the scoresheet in the 27th minute with some brilliant skill to put two Leeds defenders on the ground, finding the back of the net with a calm finish. Early on in the second half Andreas Pereira whipped in a wonderful cross which found the head of Phil Jones, steering the ball into the back of the net leaving the goalkeeper stranded. 20 minutes after Jones made it 3-0 to United, Tahith Chong made a blistering run down the left-hand side & linked up with Angel Gomes, resulting in a penalty being awarded to United. Anthony Martial was the man to step up with United’s usual penalty taker, Paul Pogba, on the bench after his involvement in the first half. Martial slotted the penalty coolly into the bottom left corner. The game could have easily finished 5 or 6-0 had United not hit the woodwork several times. With 6 goals in two games and none yet conceded, United fans can’t help but get excited about the upcoming games.
Next up for United is a clash with Italian giants, Inter Milan, who are now managed by former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte. Inter secured Champions League football for the upcoming season on the final day of the 2018/19 season & will be looking to get closer to Juventus this time around. The Italian side have been active in the transfer window by signing Valentino Lazzaro, Matteo Politano, Nicolo Barella & Diego Godin, but it doesn’t look like they are finished just yet, as talks between Romelu Lukaku continue, with Sky Sports reporting this morning that United have rejected a £54m bid. Mauro Icardi, Inter’s top goal-scorer last season, is not included in Antonio Conte’s travelling squad which suggests the striker could be on his way out of the San Siro. Diego Godin, who could potentially turn out to be Inter’s most important signing of the summer, is not expected to play against United as he returns from Copa America & is likely to meet up the side at a later date.
United & Inter have come face-to-face competitively four times, all four coming in two-legged Champions League ties. United came out on top on both occasions. United knocked the Italian side out in the 1999 European Cup en-route to the final in their first meeting, while again when the two sides met in the 2009 Champions League Semi-Final, Nemanja Vidic & Cristiano Ronaldo found themselves on the scoresheet and the winning side. Most recently, United played Inter in a friendly match in 2014 during their tour of the United States. United went on to win the game 5-3 on penalties after the fixture finished goalless.
What to expect?
United are expected to line up with a similar squad that played against Leeds; Luke Shaw is expected to be back for the game after coming off against Perth Glory with a small niggle. Supporters will be keen to see Shaw & Daniel James on the same side with Luke enjoying his overlapping runs, which could work in the favour of United against Inter’s full-backs. It is no doubt going to be a tight game but United are slightly ahead when it comes to their preparations. Prediction: 2-0 United.