The Red Devils close out the American portion of their pre-season with a clash against Ernesto Valverde’s men in Maryland on Tuesday night
Manchester United are set for another stern examination of their Premier League title credentials against Barcelona on Tuesday evening.
The Red Devils have already faced Manchester City and Real Madrid during their tour of the United States and now take on Barca at FedEx Field in Maryland.
This is the last of United’s fixtures in America before they head back to Europe for two final friendlies, while Ernesto Valverde still has his first Clasico in the Catalans’ dugout to come in Miami on Saturday.
|Game||Barcelona vs Manchester United|
|Date||Wednesday, July 26|
|Time||19:30 (local) / 00:30 BST (July 27)|
TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM
In the UK, the match will be available to watch live on television on MUTV and by stream via MUTV.com.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
In the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on ESPN 2 and in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. It can also be streamed on WatchESPN.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|ESPN 2 / ESPN Deportes (Spanish)||WatchESPN|
SQUADS & TEAM NEWS
|Goalkeepers||Cillessen, Ortola, Jokin|
|Defenders||Pique, Alba, Digne, Umtiti, Vidal, Marlon, Douglas, Vermaelen, Semedo|
|Midfielders||Busquets, Mascherano, Iniesta, Rakitic, Arda, D. Suarez, Roberto, Samper, Alena|
|Forwards||Messi, Neymar, L. Suarez, Alcacer, Munir|
Gerard Deulofeu and Rafinha are injured and will not feature for Barcelona, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Andre Gomes were given an extended holiday following the Confederations Cup.
New signing Nelson Semedo, however, made his debut against Juventus and could feature again.
Potential starting XI: Cillessen; Semedo, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, L. Suarez, Neymar.
|Position||Man Utd players|
|Goalkeepers||De Gea, Romero, J. Pereira|
|Defenders||Darmian, Valencia, Fosu-Mensah, Bailly, Blind, Jones, Lindelof, Smalling, Tuanzebe, Mitchell|
|Midfielders||Carrick, Fellaini, Herrera, McTominay, Pogba, Lingard, Mata, Mkhitaryan, A. Pereira|
|Forwards||Martial, Lukaku, Rashford|
Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young are recovering from injuries and will not feature during United’s tour of the United States, though they have travelled.
Juan Mata trained alone on Monday after suffering a knock against Real Salt Lake, while Ander Herrera is also a doubt having been forced off against Real Madrid.
Potential starting XI: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Lindelof, Blind; Herrera, Carrick, Pogba; Mkhitaryan, Lukaku, Lingard.
BETTING & MATCH ODDS
Barcelona are around 5/6 favourites to win, according to Oddschecker, with a United victory and the draw both available at 3/1.
Lionel Messi is the 7/2 favourite to score first followed by Luis Suarez at 9/2. Romelu Lukaku is the top choice for the Red Devils at a price of 6/1.
It is hard to know how much to read into pre-season fixtures at the best of times.
It has been especially difficult to figure out how meaningful Manchester United’s positive results on their tour of the USA really are, however, because of the different timelines of the clubs they have been competing against.
United had already played two friendlies by the time they faced – and beat – a Manchester City side that was stretching its legs for the first time this summer, and they got another 90 minutes under their belt there before they took on Real Madrid in their first match of pre-season.
The Red Devils have kicked off early presumably due to their busy start to the competitive campaign between the Premier League and the UEFA Super Cup.
They have more match practice than Barcelona, too, but Ernesto Valverde’s team has, at least, made a start by taking on Juventus at the weekend.
Jose Mourinho will hope the tempo goes up another notch as a result as the new season draws closer at an alarming rate, but he will not know for sure what kind of team he has at his disposal until it is tested with points to play for.