Real Madrid is going to face Manchester United in a star-studded International Champions Cup match at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on Sunday. The game is part of the International Champions Cup, which is an annual pre-season competition. The two heavyweights go head to head in the United States as they prepare for the start of their respective league campaigns. Here is all you need to know about Man United vs Real Madrid pre-season friendly.
Date: Sunday, July 23
Time: 2 pm PT, 5 pm ET. and 10 pm BST.
Online Coverage: LiveTV24.org
TV Info: MUTV (UK), ESPN Deportes (U.S.) and Cuatro (Spain)
PSG lifted the trophy for the second time last year. Both Manchester United and Real Madrid have won the trophy since its arrival 4 years ago.
Real Madrid vs Manchester United Match Preview
Real Madrid kick off their preseason with a game against a Manchester United who have already played three times this summer and won all three. Two of the biggest teams in Europe and the world meet at Levi’s Stadium, the home of the San Francisco 49ers, as California welcomes the two sides to the Bay Area.
Real Madrid: Los Blancos’ summer was filled with new arrivals until recently when Alvaro Morata and Danilo left the squad to join up with the Premier League’s Chelsea and Manchester City respectively, although the Danilo deal is not yet confirmed, it is reportedly very close as Zidane says he has “gone” from Real Madrid’s UCLA training base in the U.S. Zidane says of Real Madrid’s summer activity, “We’ve had some very good players move on and some young guys come in. We always try to make improvements to the squad. We’re happy with the boys who have just arrived. They’re excited to be training with us and they know where they’ve come to. We’ll see whether or not we’ve improved the squad over the course of the season”.
Zinedine Zidane will use the next number of weeks to catch Dani Ceballos, Theo Hernandez, Jesus Vallejo and Marcos Llorente on how he likes to play as they try to squeeze their way into the manager’s plans. There are few harder things to break into a Champions League and league winning side but there should be opportunities over the next couple of weeks.
Gareth Bale is currently enjoying his first ever full preseason with the Spanish side and will try to build up his fitness to avoid the injury-tormented season he suffered through last year.
Cristiano Ronaldo is on an extended holiday having led Portugal to a semi-final in the Confederations Cup in June before leaving early to greet his two new born children. There will be opportunities for Marco Asensio due to his absence. There will also be a chance for Zidane to try new things based on the fact that Morata is gone and Real Madrid don’t have a second striker on the tour.
Manchester United: Jose Mourinho has coached his side to three victories in the States so far with wins over LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake and Manchester City most recently. Romelu Lukaku, the side’s biggest summer acquisition has scored twice in his first three games with the goal against Manchester City to give his side the lead the pick of the two thus far. He seems to have adapted to life at the club quite well and will likely play a big role against on Sunday night in California as he continues to build bonds with his new teammates.
United still have questions marks in defense with Jose Mourinho whipping off Daley Blind, Chris Smalling and victor Lindleof at half-time against City despite saying most of the players would play for 60 minutes. He was clearly unhappy with their performance against a rusty and unfit City side. Eric Bailly and Phil Jones came in along with Mateo Darmian at left-back but the Portuguese manager seems unsure as to what his best back four is. Reports also surfaced during the week that he is looking for a right-back as Antonio Valencia, a stalwart at the club, comes to the end of his distinguished career despite playing and playing well against City. Mourinho, however, said this was by design: “We played with two back fours and two goalkeepers. Against Real Madrid we will do the same. I don’t change my words because we win or because we lose. We are here to train and to give everybody time.
“In this game [against Manchester City] we played Eric Bailly with Phil Jones, and Chris Smalling with Victor Lindelof. The next game with Real Madrid I will change. I will play Lindelof with another one, and Bailly with another one. Everything is going okay for us.”
Meanwhile, United’s midfield seems to be taking shape with Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera beginning to assert themselves on operations in the middle. Alongside Henrikh Mkhitaryan in attack, who has impressed during the preseason, the consistency these players have been offered seems to be working well with their confidence and influence on the side.
Real Madrid vs Manchester United possible line-ups
Real Madrid: Keylor; Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo or Theo; Casemiro, Modric, Kroos; Isco, Bale, Benzema.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Baily, Lindelóf, Smalling; Herrera, Pogba, Luingard; Rashford, Lukaku, Mkhitaryan
The sides have faced each other 10 times competitively, with Real Madrid the victors 4 times. Manchester United have only beat the Spanish champions twice, once in 1968 and more recently in 2003, beating them 4-3 in a Champions League quarter final.