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Preview: Manchester United vs. Perth Glory - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the pre-season friendly between Manchester United and Perth Glory in Australia, including team news and predicted lineups.

Manchester United take on Perth Glory at the Optus Stadium on Saturday afternoon in the first of their pre-season friendlies.

The Red Devils endured a difficult 2018-19 campaign and will be hoping for far better this time around, starting with a positive result in Australia this weekend.


Manchester United

Romelu Lukaku pictured ahead of Manchester United's Premier League meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers in April 2019© Reuters

Picking up from where they left off last season, Man United already seem to be the media's crisis club of choice.

Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku have both travelled with the squad for their tour Down Under, despite both having admitted that they would like to play their football away from Old Trafford next season.

Contract negotiations with David de Gea have rumbled on far too long, meanwhile, and there is still the worry among United supporters that Solskjaer may not be the right man for the job after all.

The Red Devils' incredible run of form when Solskjaer initially replaced Jose Mourinho on a caretaker basis at Christmas time is now a long, long time ago.

They ended the season without a win in six matches - including a final-day home defeat to relegated Cardiff City - and won just two of their last 12.

The squad has not improved all that much, despite the arrivals of young, British duo Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for a combined £65m.

Ander Herrera has yet to be replaced in central midfield and Solskjaer now has only a month to bring in the three players - a midfielder, winger and centre-back - that he is supposedly after.

Solskjaer has already made it clear to his players that their fitness levels were not good enough last season, so the first part of pre-season is all about getting each member of his squad up to speed.

A 45-minute run-out for the majority of his players on Saturday, combined with a victory, would be a good way to start what could be a season of redemption.

Recent form (end of last season): LLLDDL


Perth Glory

Perth Glory head coach Tony Popovic pictured during his time in charge of Western Sydney Wanderers in October 2014© Reuters

United face a difficult first test on their tour of Australia and Asia as they come up against the side that finished top of the A-League last season.

Perth Glory led the way from matchday three right the way through until the concluding round of regular-league matches, only to be edged out on penalties by Sydney FC in the Grand Final.

Like United, Glory are currently enjoying their off-season, with the A-League not resuming until mid-October.

Tony Popovic's side beat Bayswater City 3-0 in their opening friendly on Tuesday, but it goes without saying that this will be a far more difficult test against a United side out to prove a point.

This match is also a chance for the home side to put the crushing defeat to Sydney in their last competitive outing behind them, knowing that they have a chance to claim a huge scalp in front of their supporters.

Perth ended the regular A-League season with a return of 56 goals scored and 23 conceded in their 27 games - a league high and low respectively.

With an FFA Cup last-32 clash against Western Sydney on the horizon, Popovic will use this match as a chance to settle on a preferred XI for the campaign ahead, which he will hope ends on a better note than 2018-19.

Recent pre-season form: W


Team News

Daniel James celebrates scoring for Swansea City on April 2, 2019© Reuters

Wan-Bissaka and James have spent a week training with their new teammates and this match will give United supporters a first chance to see them up close.

First-team regulars De Gea, Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford are all part of a strong squad, while Pogba and Lukaku may feature despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding their futures.

Fred and Matteo Darmian are not in contention to feature, though, having been given an extended break for family reasons, and Alexis Sanchez has only just started his summer break after featuring for Chile at the Copa America.

Andreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe will hope to play a part at the Optus Stadium after signing new contracts before jetting Down Under.

As for Glory, Dino Djulbic ruptured his anterior crucial ligament in the A-League Grand Final and is facing a spell on the sidelines.

However, new signings Bruno Fornaroli, Nick D'Agostino, Dane Ingham and Jacob Tratt may all play a part.

Among the more notable names for the home side is Andy Keogh, who spent 13 years of his career playing in English football with the likes of Leeds United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Cardiff, but Popovic has confirmed he will be absent for this glamour friendly.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Pereira; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Jones, Shaw; Garner, McTominay, Gomes; Chong, Greenwood, James

Perth Glory possible starting lineup:
Reddy, Tratt, Lowry, Franjic, Chianese, Fornaroli, Harold, Wilson, Mrcela, Juande, Kilkenny


Head To Head

This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides.

Perth Glory lost 1-0 to Chelsea this time last year through an early Pedro goal at the Optus Stadium.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Manchester United 2-0 Perth Glory

Solskjaer is expected to field two different XIs on Saturday, meaning that the game may have a disjointed feel to it. Perth will be hoping to pull off an upset, but we are backing the Red Devils to get their summer programme off to a winning start.


body check tags ::

Who will win Saturday's pre-season friendly between Manchester United and Perth Glory?

Manchester United
Draw
Perth Glory
Manchester United
89.9%
Draw
8.7%
Perth Glory
1.4%
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