ICC: Manchester United's predicted starting XI vs AC Milan
Manchester United has started their pre-season with a couple of underwhelming performances against Club América and San Jose Earthquakes. United drew both the matches with a scoreline of 1-1 and 0-0 respectively.
Their first real test awaits as they prepare to face AC Milan in their first International Champions Cup match of 2018. They will also face their arch-rivals Liverpool and Real Madrid in the coming days.
The Red Devils have signed Fred, Diago Dalot and Lee Grant in this transfer window. Mourinho will be itching to make a marquee signing, especially after seeing the spending spree at Liverpool and Arsenal.
Alexis Sanchez was given a green light to travel to the USA and he straightaway featured in the starting XI as Mourinho lacked options in front. Many players are given an extended holiday after a tiring World Cup. Mourinho does not hope that his players will get back on time to feature in the match of Premier League.
What time is kick-off?
The teams will meet on 26th July, Thursday.
Kick-off is 8.05 pm in California, 8:35 am in India.
Joel Pereira should start in goal for the first ICC match. Lee Grant should come to replace him after the half-time. The new 35-year old goalkeeper has been very productive for Manchester United. He made two great saves after coming off the bench against San Jos Earthquakes.
Valencia suffered a knock in the last match against San Jose Earthquakes. Darmian is expected to start in his place. Centre-back pair of Smalling and Bailly have been solid and might retain their place as they are the only experienced pair in the backline.
Shaw had a poor outing in the previous match, but with Ashley Young not a part of pre-season, he still has time to establish himself as the first-choice left back. This pre-season will be his final chance to prove that he has the potential to wear a United jersey.
The trio of Pereira, Hererra, and McTominay are the first choice midfielders in the depleted squad. Periera has been playing a more defensive role. He has also made it clear that he will play anywhere as per the demand of his manager.
In the absence of Lukaku and Rashford, Anthony Martial is expected to lead the line for United. His career at Old Trafford is still in doubts as big clubs like Bayern Munich and Chelsea are hoping to sign him. Just like Shaw, this pre-season will define whether he will stay with United in the next season or not.
Sanchez had a good run in the previous match, looked full of life and promise. He will be deployed in his preferred left-wing role. He may swap positions with Martial for brief cameos. The expectation from the number 7 is very high as he steps into his first full season with Manchester United.
The right-wing is still a problem. Mata has been a very useful squad player but lacks pace which is required at that position. He is expected to start ahead of United's youngster, Tahith Chong, who starred in the previous match after impressing against Club America.