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Manchester United vs Lens Premier League Football Match 2023

Manchester United vs Lens Premier League Football Match 2023

Manchester United will continue their preparations for the 2023-24 Premier League campaign with a pre-season clash against French outfit Lens at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon. The Red Devils are also due to face Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, with the club playing two more games ahead of their Premier League opener with Wolverhampton Wanderers, but this will represent Lens’s final match of the summer, with their Ligue 1 season beginning against Brest on August 13.

Man United have played six pre-season matches this summer, winning their opening three games against Leeds United, Lyon and Arsenal, before losing their next three against Wrexham, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. The clash with Wrexham involved an academy side, though, so the first team have technically lost twice this summer, going down 2-0 to Real Madrid on July 26 before suffering a 3-2 reverse to Dortmund last weekend, with the clash against the Bundesliga giants bringing their pre-season tour of the United States to a close. Erik ten Hag’s side will now face Lens and Athletic on Saturday and Sunday respectively before switching their attention to their 2023-24 Premier League opener against Wolves on August 14.

The 20-time English champions have made two signings this summer, bringing in Mason Mount from Chelsea and Andre Onana from Inter Milan, while a deal for Rasmus Hojlund is very close, with the Denmark international’s arrival potentially being announced ahead of kickoff in this match. Man United finished third in the Premier League last season, in addition to winning the EFL Cup, but they will be expected to make a stronger challenge for the top position in the division this term. A successful start to the campaign will be absolutely vital, and there are expected to be more incomings after Hojlund before the end of the summer transfer window, so it could be an exciting season for the club.

Lens, meanwhile, enjoyed an excellent 2022-23 campaign, finishing second in Ligue 1, just one point behind the champions Paris Saint-Germain, which has qualified them for the group stage of the 2023-24 Champions League. Les Sang et Or have only won Ligue 1 on one previous occasion, which came back in 1998, while they have been runners-up on five occasions, with last season proving to be their best finish since 2002. It was always going to be difficult for the club to keep hold of their star players this summer, and the two notable departures have been Lois Openda, who has moved to RB Leipzig in a big-money switch, and Seko Fofana, with the midfielder joining Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.

Franck Haise’s side have managed to boost their squad with the arrival of a number of players, though, with Andy Diouf, Angelo Fulgini and Oscar Cortes among the incomings. Lens have also been busy this summer in terms of friendlies, playing six times in total, recording two wins, while they will enter this weekend’s contest at Old Trafford off the back of successive draws with Wolfsburg and Torino. Ten Hag’s exact plans for the two friendlies against Lens and Athletic are unclear, but it is thought that a strong XI will take to the field for the first whistle of the clash at Old Trafford.

Onana and Mount are both in line to make their home debuts for the club, and the side could be very similar to the one that takes to the field for their campaign opener against Wolves on August 14. There will be wholesale changes from the XI that started against Dortmund, but Man United still have a number of injury doubts, which is not ideal this close to the start of the season. Dean Henderson, Tyrell Malacia, Amad Diallo and Kobbie Mainoo are all out, while Anthony Martial, Alejandro Garnacho and Raphael Varane are doubts for the 20-time English champions.

Lens, meanwhile, are expected to have a number of their new signings on display at Old Trafford, with Diouf, Fulgini and Cortes among those expected to start. The departure of Openda is a big one considering that he netted 21 goals last season, while Fofana was actually the second-highest goalscorer in the squad with nine. Wesley Said, who scored six times last season, is expected to lead the line for the Ligue 1 outfit this weekend, with Adrien Thomasson and Przemyslaw Frankowski also likely to feature in the attacking positions.

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