By Ryan Quinn
- First time the two sides have met since 2011
- Barcelona will be missing Messi and Neymar
- Manchester United will be missing Schweinsteiger but De Gea could return after injury
The most anticipated match of the pre-season tour is edging ever closer, as Manchester United are awaiting the challenge that is FC Barcelona.
Last season’s UEFA Champions League winners, Barcelona will be United’s first ‘real’ challenge of the competiton, having won an unforgettable second treble. Barca’s last game ended in a 2-1 win over MLS side LA Galaxy.
Manchester United vs FC Barcelona – Clash Of European Giants
Both European Giants will be going head to head for the first time since 2011, in which the Red Devils conquered in a pre-season victory. The like of geniuses Lionel Messi and Neymar will not be participating in tomorrow’s game due to extra rest following this summers Copa America.
However Barca’s main attacking outlet in tomorrow’s outing will be none other than Luis Suarez. Who often troubled United defences during his time with Liverpool. United will have to watch out for the jewel of Urugruyan football; and could possibly give a player the role of man marking Suarez, to pressurise and force Suraez into giving the ball away.
The absence of Messi and Neymar will allow Barca manager Luis Enrique to start Pedro, who is in fact a prime transfer target for Manchester United. The forward is a versatile player, and can play anywhere across the attacking frontline, whether as a winger on either side, or through the middle. This is a quality that would more than certainly appeal to Louis van Gaal. Having been frustrated with a lack of playing time, could Pedro be in his way to Old Trafford.
United themselves will be without a key player as well, as recent reports state Bastian Schweinsteger is now unavailable for the encounter due to injury. There is however slight relief among United fans, as goalkeeper David De Gea is likely to return to action.
The game itself will be the first huge test for the remaining new signings, whether it is only a pre-season game or otherwise. Winger Memphis Depay, who scored in United’s last outing (a 3-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes) will be looking to get a goal over possibly the world’s best team.
Predicted Manchester United lineup: De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw, Schneiderlin, Herrera, Mata, Young, Rooney, Depay