Manchester United will begin their preparations for the 2021/22 season with a pre-season match away to Derby County on Sunday afternoon. The match kicks off at 13:00PM BST. The game can be watched live in the UK on MUTV with coverage starting at 12:00PM.
The Red Devils will use this match and following pre-season games to gain fitness and confidence. We have an opening Premier League fixture against Leeds United on August 14th. United have not been in action since our UEFA Europa League final defeat to Villarreal back in May. For the upcoming season, we will see the return of Champions League football at Old Trafford, which was thanks to our second-place finish in the Premier League.
Reinforcements ahead of the new season
United is on verge of announcing Jadon Sancho has completed his transfer to us, who will add an extra dimension to our attack for the new season. There is the possibility that more reinforcements will come in with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane a potential signing. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be looking to build a squad that can mount a Premier League title challenge in the upcoming season.
We have five pre-season games ahead of the new season. Following our game at Derby, we have fixtures against Queen Parks Rangers, Brentford, and Preston North End. Our final pre-season game will take place at Old Trafford on August 7th, where we will take on Everton.
Our opening six Premier League fixtures will give an indication as to whether we are capable of launching a title challenge. The players’ focus will be getting fit ahead of the new season.
Manchester United Team News
For Manchester United, many of the players who competed in Euro 2020 and Copa America will not be available. The duo of Eric Bailly and Amad Diallo will not play. They have been selected for the Ivory Coast Olympic squad.
Tom Heaton, who recently returned back to the club is likely to be between the sticks. Nemanja Matic, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Jesse Lingard, and Juan Mata, who are the senior members of the team will be looking to build their fitness up in this game ahead of the new season.
Ethan Laird, Anthony Elanga, Hannibal Mejbri, Mason Greenwood, Shola Shoretire, Facundo Pellistri, and James Garner should see plenty of game time in these pre-season fixtures. Solskjær will be keen to give a number of opportunities to the younger players
Andreas Pereira, who had been on loan last season at Italian side Lazio has returned back to Old Trafford. It will be intriguing to see if he will be a part of Solskjær’s plan going into the 2021/22 season.
Marcus Rashford would not have featured anyway even if he had not played for England at Euro 2020. He is set to undergo shoulder surgery. The recovery time is expected to be 12 weeks with the earliest he could return is in November, three months into the Premier League season.
Derby County had endured a difficult 2020/21 season in the Championship, who achieved just 44 points from their 46 games. They just finished one place above the relegation zone. The Rams had been facing the threat of being relegated to League One. The EFL had considered appealing against gainst a £100,000 fine issued for financial irregularities. However, Derby will continue to play in the second tier next season.
They are currently under a transfer embargo meaning they can only sign players who are free agents or on loan. This has put them in not so good position for the 2021/22 campaign. They start with a home fixture on August 7th to Huddersfield.
Derby has four other pre-season games after us, who will play Salford City, Real Betis, and Notts County. Manager Wayne Rooney will be looking to boost his squad with free agents and loan players. Former United player Ravel Morrison is currently undergoing a trial period and could potentially be offered a contract.
Derby County Team News
For our opponents, they have seen Scott Malone, Martyn Waghorn, Jack Marriott, and Henrich Ravas move on from the club. Andre Wisdom and Curtis Davies are still with the club despite their contracts ending. They continue to train and build their fitness.
Ravel Morrison, Sone Aluko, Sam Baldock, Richard Stearman, Phil Jagielka, and Ryan Allsop are part of the squad and could feature on Sunday. It will be interesting to see what side Wayne Rooney puts out against us given the current transfer embargo on the club.
It is hard to say how this match will play out given both sets of managers will be making wholesale changes for the game. Whilst you could say the result is not important in this pre-season game, the quality we have in our squad should see us grab the victory.
Derby County 1-2 Manchester United