Football World

Manchester United Vs Athletic Club Premier League Football Match 2023

Manchester United Vs Athletic Club Premier League Football Match 2023

Manchester United will round off their preparations for the 2023-24 Premier League campaign with a pre-season friendly against La Liga outfit Athletic Bilbao in Dublin on Sunday afternoon. The Red Devils will also be in action against Lens at Old Trafford on Saturday, with Erik ten Hag’s side building towards their league opener against Wolverhampton Wanderers on August 14, while Athletic will begin their La Liga season at home to Real Madrid on August 12. Man United’s pre-season tour of the United States came to an end last Sunday, suffering a 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund, with the result following a 2-0 reverse to Real Madrid.

Red Devils head coach Ten Hag will not be too concerned about the results in pre-season, but there is no question that winning breeds confidence, and he will be aiming for two victories this weekend against Lens and Athletic before welcoming Wolves to Old Trafford in the Premier League on August 14. Ten Hag’s plans for the two friendlies this weekend are unclear at this stage, but it is believed that a second-string outfit will start against Athletic, with the bulk of the first-team players featuring against Lens. Man United are expecting to confirm Rasmus Hojlund as their third signing of the summer transfer window on Saturday, with the Denmark international set to follow Mason Mount and Andre Onana in joining the club this summer, and there could be more incomings before the transfer window slams shut.

The Red Devils will know the importance of making a strong start to the season considering their back-to-back losses in their opening league two games last term, and two victories in their friendlies this weekend would leave the team in a confident mood ahead of the clash with Wolves. Athletic, meanwhile, have been busy this summer in terms of friendlies, playing six times in total, but they have only won once, which proved to be a 2-0 success over Necaxa on July 20. Since then, the Basque outfit have drawn with Racing Santander and Eibar, in addition to losing to Gimnastic Torrelavega and Celtic, and the clash with Man United on Sunday will bring an end to their pre-season.

Ernesto Valverde’s side finished eighth in La Liga last term, two points behind seventh-placed Osasuna, and they will be expecting to challenge for a possible European finish again in the new season. Athletic’s Basque-only policy in the transfer market makes it difficult for them to boost their squad, but Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta has arrived from Mallorca, while Javier Marton has moved from Real Sociedad B. Inigo Martinez has been their major departure, with the centre-back joining Barcelona on a free transfer, but the likes of Inaki Williams and Nico Williams have stayed at the club, and the team will be bidding to secure a positive result this weekend ahead of their 2023-24 La Liga opener against Real Madrid on August 12.

Man United will again be without the services of Dean Henderson, Tyrell Malacia, Amad Diallo and Kobbie Mainoo for Sunday’s clash in Dublin due to injuries. Ten Hag is expected to start arguably his strongest available XI against Lens on Saturday, which could lead to a second-string outfit taking to the field for the first whistle against Athletic. There will still be plenty of familiar faces in the shape of Diogo Dalot, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen, though, while there is a slight chance that Hojlund could make his first appearance for the club if his arrival is confirmed on Saturday. Athletic, meanwhile, are likely to have their two new signings on display in this match, with Ruiz de Galarreta likely to start in central midfield and Marton potentially appearing off the bench.

Head coach Valverde will pick a team with the clash against Real Madrid in mind, so Inaki Williams, Oihan Sancet, Nico Williams and Mikel Vesga should be among those to start. Gorka Guruzeta could lead the line for the La Liga outfit, although Asier Villalibre is also an option in the final third of the field, while Iker Muniain and Alex Berenguer will also feature at some stage of the contest. Erik ten Hag must knock his squad into shape ahead of their top-flight opener against Wolves, live on talkSPORT. And the United boss will be keen to return to winning ways having watched his side lose three successive friendlies on their USA tour.

The Old Trafford outfit fell to a 3-2 defeat to Borussia Dortmund that followed losses to both Real Madrid and Wrexham. Kick-off at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, is scheduled for 4pm UK time. The game will be broadcast live on MUTV starting from 3pm, and supporters can sign up to watch the action here. You can either pay £7.99 a month or £29.99 for the whole year. talkSPORT will have updates throughout while will have the best of the reaction as well. The Red Devils are dealing with several injury concerns, with Kobbie Mainoo and Amad Diallo all out.

Mainoo has an ankle problem that could keep him out until the new year and Diallo picked up a knee issue, ruling him out for the opening of the 2023/24 campaign. Rasmus Hojlund is closing in on an imminent £72million switch, but he is unlikely to feature. With two games in such quick succession, whichever players featured the day before against Lens will likely not make the trip to Ireland. Bilbao could hand a start to United cult hero Ander Herrera alongside new signings Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta and Javier Marton.

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