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Ones to watch: Manchester United vs Athletic Bilbao (pre-season)



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Credit: Imago

Manchester United have travelled to Dublin to take on Athletic Club in their last match of the pre-season.

Manchester United returned to winning ways on Saturday with a win over RC Lens at Old Trafford. Playing another match just over 24 hours later, Erik Ten Hag is expected to field a completely different playing 11.

The clash against Athletic Bilbao gives Ten Hag the perfect opportunity to test the strength of his bench. With the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelöf, and Christian Eriksen, among others, expected to be in the starting 11 of today’s match.

United’s Spanish counterpart have had an underwhelming preseason, winning just one match almost a month ago. Ernesto Valverde’s men will host Spanish titan Real Madrid at home in their La Liga opener on August 12, and hence today’s tie is very crucial for the team.

On that occasion, let’s look at the ones to watch for today’s match:

Manchester United – Jadon Sancho

Since his arrival from Borussia Dortmund, Sancho has yet to find his feet in England. The pacey winger hasn’t lived up to his expectations, barring a few moments of hope. However, this preseason, the English international has often been deployed as a false nine.

In his role, Sancho has done extremely well, scoring an impressive goal against Arsenal. At the end of last season, the 23-year-old was also tried out in the CAM position. During his Manchester United career, Sancho has played on either side of the wing too.

And as his performances say, the London-born player has been electric in his role. With the arrival of Rasmus Hojlund as the CF and the injury of Amad Diallo, Sancho could also return to earlier positions, so he is surely someone one needs to keep an eye on.

Athletic Bilbao – Javi Marton

Athletic Bilbao signed Real Sociedad’s reserve team’s top scorer, Javier Marton, earlier in the transfer window. Coming on as a second half substitute in Athletic’s match against Club Necaxa in July, the debutant scored a brace to hand his team their only win so far.

The 24-year-old scored another goal in Bilbao’s last match, a 1-1 draw against SD Eibar. The Spaniard is expected to complement to Inaki Williams and spearhead Athletic Club’s attack for the next season.