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S.Africa tour will fire our title defence: Ferguson

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Jul 2008

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Sir Alex Ferguson expects Manchester United’s tour of South Africa to provide the perfect preparation for his side’s Premier League title defence.

United fly to Africa on Thursday with Ferguson keen to concentrate on getting his squad into shape after a turbulent close-season marred by the Cristiano Ronaldo transfer saga and the departure of assistant manager Carlos Queiroz to Portugal.

The European champions play their first tour match against Kaizer Chiefs at Cape Town’s Newlands Stadium on Saturday.

United also face Orlando Pirates in Durban on July 22 before playing one of the two South Africa sides again at Loftus Stadium four days later.

The tour concludes with a friendly in Abuja, Nigeria, against FA Cup winners Portsmouth on July 27.

Ferguson believes the four matches will be tough enough to bring United up to speed ahead of the new English season, which kicks-off for the champions against Newcastle on August 17.

He told MUTV: “The games in South Africa aren’t easy games. It’s a good, competitive level, so that should bring us on a good deal.

“I think by the time we get to the start of the season we’ll be really ready.”

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