Manchester United pre season 2016 fixtures: List of pre-season friendlies the Red Devils play before EPL
The EPL 2016-17 season will be an eagerly-awaited one for fans and players, alike. Manchester United sacked Louis Van Gaal, one year before the expiry of his 3-year contract at Old Trafford. Winning the FA Cup wasn’t enough for the Dutchman, as the failure to finish in the top 4 dealt a huge blow to his managerial career at United. In stepped the self-proclaimed “the Special One” Jose Mourinho.
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The news delighted the United faithful, and with money to buy players, United will believe they can return to their winning ways. Mourinho has shown intent straightaway, signing Ivory Coast international and Villareal defender, Eric Baily. The physically-imposing centre-back was crucial in the Yellow Submarine’s Champions League qualification finishing 4th in the La Liga. The Ivorian is strong, fast and good in the air, which makes him perfectly equipped for the demands of the Premier League.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic also announced that he'll join United, the Swede has finally set his foot in the Premier League, and if he can replicate his last season at PSG, United will be well on their to reclaim the Barclays Premier League title. Also, United’s official website accidentally confirmed United’s inevitable signing of Dortmund playmaker, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, after his name on United’s away shirt was put up for sale.
United are currently pursuing former Old Trafford Academy graduate Paul Pogba and have reportedly launched an “all-out offensive” for Neymar’s signing. However, the Catalunya's are in talks with the Brazilian captain for a new contract that will tie him to Nou Camp for many years to come.United will kick-off the EPL 2016-17 season against Bournemouth on 13th August.
United finished 5th in the 2015-16 season, behind derby rivals, Manchester City. United’s campaign was a major disappointment, after crashing out in the group stages of the Champions League, going down against Liverpool in the Europa League pre-quarters, and failing to qualify for Champions League next season. However, United did manage to win the FA Cup after defeating Crystal Palace 2-1, thanks to a Jese Lingard extra-time strike.
This was United’s first FA Cup in 12 years but it failed to please the fans and the management, who were close to agreeing to terms with Jose Mourinho. Many criticized United’s style of play during Van Gaal’s tenure and lacked creativity in the midfield. Players concentrated on back passes more than moving the ball forwards, and this turned the fans against Van Gaal. United lacked the flair and aggression of the Ferguson era, and their gameplay had become boring to watch.
However, it’s not fair to blame Van Gaal alone for this disastrous season. United suffered 55 injuries during the season and had to give starts to a number of youth players including Marcus Rashford, Fosu-Mensah, and Valera, among others. There were lots of positives last season for United, though, with Marcus Rashford having a fairytale start to his United career with 8 goals and 2 assists in 18 matches, including 2 goals in United's’ 3-2 win over Arsenal at the Emirates. Anthony Martial was finished as United’s top-scorer with 17 goals.
The players will be pumped up to prove themselves under Mourinho, and take United back to the helm of Barclays Premier League. Manchester Untied will be traveling far east this summer for 2016 pre-season tour to China, which will be part of International Champions Cup.
United will play against derby rivals Manchester City on 22nd July, and last season's runners-up of Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund, on 25th July, before taking a trip back home for the start of 2016-17 season, against Bournemouth. After the International Champions Cup, United will travel to Sweden to take on former Turkish champions, Galatasaray, on July 30.
It will also give the Swedish fans a chance to salute Zlatan Ibrahimovic after he hung up his boots in international football after Euro 2016. In a friendly match, Manchester United will take on Everton at the Wayne Rooney testimonial match at Old Trafford. Manchester United will also take on Champions Leicester City for the FA Community Shield on 7th August.
|22nd July, 2016||Borussia Dortmund||Shenghai, China||7:30 PM||TBD|
|25th July, 2016||Machester City||Beijing, China||5:00 PM||TBD|
|30th July, 2016||Galatasaray||Ullevi Stadium, Sweden||11:00 PM||TBD|
|3rd August, 2016||Everton (Wayne Rooney’s Testimonial)||Old Trafford, Manchester||12:30 PM||TBD|
|7th August, 2016||Leicester City||Wembley||TBD||TBD|