After seeing that Manchester United have officially completed the signing of Jadon Sancho (phew), fans will be looking forwards to see the club build on their win against Derby County this Saturday as they continue pre-season with a trip to Queens Park Rangers. In what will be the second of five games before the curtain raiser against Leeds United, which is now less than a month away.
There are two new additions to the Manchester United squad this week, with Daniel James and Scott McTominay included in the squad after their exploits at Euro 2020 with Wales and Scotland respectively. The match will kick off at 3pm BST on Saturday 24th July, and will be played at The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, home to Queens Park Rangers.Embed from Getty Images
With the majority of the first team squad still on an extended break after representing their countries, this is another chance for the young players to impress and even the senior players who fell out of favour last season, such as Juan Mata, Alex Telles and Jesse Lingard.
Queens Park Rangers have been a Championship mainstay since being relegated in 2014/15. That season, United did the double over the R’s with a 4-0 win at Old Trafford and a 2-0 victory at Loftus Road. Ten points for anyone who can guess United’s scorers in the games that season… James Wilson and Angel Di Maria were amongst the scorers. How time flies.Embed from Getty Images
QPR haven’t had the best of times since being relegated, not doing enough to threaten promotion whilst doing enough to stay in the division but they are on the back of their best finish in 6 years after placing 9th.
Lyndon Dykes, QPR’s top scorer last season, could also feature. If you’re not familiar with Lyndon Dykes, he’s the Scotland striker who left his mark on Luke Shaw after 10 seconds in the England-Scotland game at the Euros… did someone mention broken ribs?Embed from Getty Images
The Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium will be at full capacity for the first time in 17 months this Saturday, so there should be a lively atmosphere, even if it is just a pre-season game.
As always, there will be lots of rotation for Manchester United and an opportunity for many to force their way into the team with so many regulars still absent. Daniel James and Scott McTominay are the only two new additions with the rest of the first-team still on holiday – or in the case of Amad and Eric Bailly, competing in the Tokyo Olympics. Here’s the full squad;
Goalkeepers: Nathan Bishop, Lee Grant, Tom Heaton, Matej Kovar.
Defenders: Di’Shon Bernard, Will Fish, Teden Mengi, Alex Telles, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaaron Wan-Bissaka, Brandon Williams.
Midfielders: Andreas Pereira, Ethan Galbraith, James Garner, Hannibal, Daniel James, Dylan Levitt, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Facundo Pellistri.
Forwards: Tahith Chong, Anthony Elanga, Mason Greenwood, Joe Hugill, Shola Shoretire.
One to Watch
There are many players out to prove a point – none more so than Jesse Lingard.
After an impressive loan spell at West Ham United, Jesse Lingard looks to have come back fit, motivated and ready to play an important part for Manchester United this season. Not being selected in the England squad may have been a blessing in disguise for both Lingard and Manchester United and when he’s at the top of his game, there’s no doubts about what he can bring to the team.Embed from Getty Images
It feels like Lingard is on a one man mission to prove his doubters wrong, which can only be a good thing for everyone at Manchester United, unless your name is Donny van de Beek, who is in a similar position. If Lingard stays at United this summer, he could well prove to be one of our more important players over the course of the season. Expect a good outing against Derby to be followed by something similar this Saturday againts QPR.
Three Weeks to go…
Saturday marks three weeks until Manchester United’s season starts at home against Leeds United in the Premier League. With so many key players still away, the next three weeks are crucial. In that time, Manchester United face QPR, Brentford, Preston and finally Everton. The players who are away are expected to return at different times, depending on when their countries exited the Euros or Copa America. Given that the holiday period is 3 weeks, we should expect to see the likes of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes back with the squad next week and our English players the week after.
Manchester United return to Old Trafford for their next pre-season game, facing Brentford on Wednesday.