When: 7/26/2017, 7:30PM EDT
Where: FedExField, Landover, MD
Tickets: Buy Here
One of many high-profile matches at this year’s International Champions Cup, but arguably one of the highly anticipated ones will be played on 26 July at FedExField in Landover.
It’s two of Europe’s biggest and most attractive sides Barcelona and Manchester United going head on head in what is expected to be another great test for both sides ahead of new season.
The Catalans have two major headaches to fight against during the hot days of summer as heat goes up amidst the transfer window that has been a bit silent for the Catalan giants.
Barcelona have thus far brought Benfica right-back Nelson Semedo after failing in their attempts to land Arsenal superstar Hector Bellerin. Fluminense centre-back Marlon also joined the Catalan side this summer, whereas Barcelona brought back Gerard Deulofeu who is not expected to remain at Camp Nou for too long. Barcelona’s transfer activities have not pleased the demanding fans and the club board is making its best to bring a sound signing. Things are not going according to plan however, as the Catalans seems to be unable to get their desired targets. The main aim is to bolster the midfield ranks and find a long-term replacement for Andres Iniesta but PSG won’t sell Marco Verratti, whereas Liverpool are also keeping the firm stance on the unavailability of Philippe Coutinho. The Catalans submitted a €80 million bid for the Brazilian maestro but Jurgen Klopp is undeterred. Another big problem Barcelona are facing is the uncertainty arousing around Brazilian international Neymar who is wanted by Paris Saint-Germain. Neymar is reportedly keen to leave Barcelona and step out of Leo Messi’s shadow, although such claims have not been confirmed. Barcelona officials remain upbeat over the prospect of keeping one of three biggest stars of their team, but the pressure is piling up.
Barcelona will kick off the International Champions Cup with a match against Juventus and hopefully there will be no injuries to worry about.
Ernesto Valverde should go with a mixed line-up and is expected to give a chance to as many players as he can.
United’s summer has been a huge contrast to barcelona’s in terms of transfers, transfer activities and transfer rumours. And although we’ve only seen two players join the Old Trafford club, additional arrivals are expected as Jose Mourinho’s transfer frustrations mount.
The Portuguese boss is far from happy at his club’s transfer activities. He would ideally have three or more new players added to his squad, but will refuse to have his club kept for ransom on ‘average’ players as he said angrily. It is unclear who Mourinho had in mind, but it is assumed he aimed the dig towards Inter Milan and Chelsea and their reluctance to let Ivan Perisic and Nemanja Matic join the Red Devils. On the positive note, however, Jose Mourinho can be quite pleased with how the things are working out for his team in the United States. Two friendly wins were followed by a 2-0 victory in the first-ever Manchester derby held outside the UK borders. Summer addition Romelu Lukaku scored his second Manchester United goal, whereas Marcus Rashford also continued his fine form as Red Devils emerged comfortable winners. Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Henrikh Mkhitaryan offered more reasons to feel optimistic with their inspiring displays, respectively, as Jose Mourinho’s first-team is starting to shape out nicely and cleanly.
Jose Mourinho has already indicated that matches in the United States will be used for player rotation as the Portuguese tactician looks to assess as many options as he possibly can.
He is still expected to run his biggest stars out against the Catalans with Lukaku and Pogba leading the line once again.
Result and performance come secondary to testing the options, both squad-wise and from the tactical point of view when matches like these are in question. We still expect to see both sides go for goal and try to win as it is part of their mentality. And those of you who buy tickets here and visit the stadium can definitely expect Romelu Lukaku to continue his scoring spree.
Verdict: Romelu Lukaku to score anytime
Best Odds: to be available in due time on this link.
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