Melbourne Victory vs Manchester United: Preview and Prediction￼
Manchester United is now gearing up to take on the Melbourne Victory side in the upcoming fixture after an emphatic victory over the arch-rivals, Liverpool in the opening pre-season friendly. The pre-season caravan of the Red Devils moves to Australia where they will be playing their next three friendly fixtures. The high-voltage encounter between the English and Aussie combatants will be hosted by the historic venue of Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday.
The Liverpool victory came with positivity in the United camp as the Red Devils stepped out in Thailand’s Rajamangala Stadium with great intent. In his very first game as in-charge, gaffer Erik ten Hag proved that he has arrived at the United camp to carry forward the Dutch legacy for Manchester Reds. When the clock ticked the 33rd minute, United was already leading the battle by 3-0 and went on to score one more before the final whistle.
On the other hand, the arrival of gaffer Tony Popovic brought the revolution to the Victory side as the Blue Boys who were at the bottom of the 2020-21 A-League points table went on to finish as runners-up in the following season. The Big V lost the race of 2021-22 A-League Premier to the city-rivals Melbourne City by just a single point. Although the Popovic era’s first season did not consummate without silverware as the Victory bearers clinched the 2021 edition of the FFA Cup.
What have they done so far?
Manchester United’s one-off game in the Thailand tour turned out to be great for them as they fetched many positive outcomes from the victory. The gaffer Erik ten Hag must be aiming to carry forward the momentum to Land Down Under. The Red Devils will be also facing Crystal Palace and Aston Villa before wrapping up the Australia Tour.
Melbourne Victory’s pre-season campaign will kick off from this fixture as the manager Tony Popovic will be aiming to check their strengths against quality opposition. This encounter against Manchester United will play a key role in their preparations for an important fixture in the first week of August. Which is the Round of 32 fixture of the FFA Cup where they’re drawn with the reigning A-League Champions Western United FC.
Amidst the transfer window
After the arrival of Tyrell Malacia at the Red Devils camp, the United board is in serious pursuit of another Dutchman Frenkie de Jong. The Frenkie de Jong deal is expected to be finalised very soon as the transfer fee offered by Man Utd has reportedly got acceptance by the Barca board.
Many media houses are reporting that the signing of Christian Eriksen is also speculated to be official by this week and the 30-year-old Danish midfielder will be arriving at Old Trafford to complete his medical very soon.
The summer transfer window has drawn many fluctuations in the MVFC roster so far. The Melbourne outfit let go the central defender Brendan Hamill who joined the Indian club ATK Mohun Bagan but also left no stone unturned to boost the squad with new signings. The veteran Portuguese winger Nani is also among the newest arrivals on the Victory side as his presence will play a key role in their A-League Championship hunt.
Just a day after the official announcement of his arrival, Nani has already joined the training camp ahead of the United fixture. The Portuguese winger who spent eight years donning the red kits of United is expected to make his debut for Melbourne Victory against his former club. The rocky defensive midfielder who was handed over the captain’s armband in his very first season at the club will continue to wear it with pride.
The Manchester United captain Harry Maguire missed the Liverpool game due to fitness issues as Victor Lindelof was included in the Starting Eleven although the English central defender is likely to return against the Australian combatants.
The United’s new boss faces his first injury scare as the goalkeeper David de Gea was subbed off after sustaining a muscle strain during his attempt to save the goal. Erik ten Hag may give the Dutch duo of Donny van de Beek and Tyrell Malacia a shot into the Red Devils’ starting lineup.
Predicted Starting Lineups
Melbourne Victory (4-3-3): Matt Acton; Jason Geria, Roderick, George Timotheou, Noah Smith; Jay Barnett, Jake Brimmer, Leigh Broxham, Joshua Brillante; Nicholas D’Agostino, Tomi Juric
Manchester United (4-3-3): Tom Heaton; Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Tyrell Malacia; Donny van de Beek, Fred, Bruno Fernandes; Anthony Elanga, Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho
Erik ten Hag ticked all the boxes in the Liverpool game with a perfect all-round performance. They will be out on the Melbourne Cricket Ground to replicate the same while it’s going to be very tough for the hosts to stop the triumph-chariot of Red Devils.
Whether it’s the current form or squad strength, United outclasses the Australian challengers in every aspect hence it’s quite evident that they stand a high chance to emerge victorious from this fixture.