Manchester United are preparing to face Crystal Palace in the third of their six pre-season fixtures.
After defeating Melbourne Victory last time out, the Red Devils will head back to the Melbourne Cricket Ground to take on the second of three Premier League opponents during their tour of Asia and Australia.
The tour started off well with a 4-0 thrashing of Liverpool thanks to goals from Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri in Bangkok, with the club flying out to Australia after the fixture to play three matches.
When the side embarked on Tour 2022, a full first team squad was flown out, minus wantaway striker Cristiano Ronaldo who stayed back due to personal reasons.
Erik ten Hag was pressed for comment once they landed in Bangkok, and the Dutchman maintained that he is looking forwards to working with the striker, however there is yet to be any indication of the player joining the side on tour.
🗞️ #mufc are planning for the rest of their pre-season tour without Cristiano Ronaldo. [@DiscoMirror]— Utd District (@UtdDistrict) July 10, 2022
After missing out on the Liverpool game, Harry Maguire entered into the fray against Melbourne Victory, raking up his first minutes with the captain’s armband under Erik ten Hag, who when asked about the captaincy role going forward maintained that Harry Maguire is and will continue as captain for the foreseeable future.
Others who gained their first minutes were Ethan Laird and Tahith Chong, two players whose futures are yet to be determined after both suffering mixed loan spells during 2021/22.
One man who did not feature against Melbourne Victory was Raphael Varane.
It was pointed out during the squad’s open training session in Bangkok that Varane was absent, and many rumoured that he was once again injured, although he was then in the starting XI against Liverpool.
Erik ten Hag confirmed that it was just a small knock that kept the Frenchman out of the fixture, describing it as “something small.”
Tom Heaton played the full fixture in Melbourne due to David de Gea’s absence after he was substituted off with an injury after a collision with Darwin Nunez, and there is currently no timeline for his return – although Ten Hag is not concerned.
"David, you saw against Liverpool he fell out but he trains already, he is back on the training pitch, no big worry," said Ten Hag.
"Raphael Varane also training but something small and I expect him back on the training pitch,” he further explained.
James Garner is still yet to feature in pre-season due to a small injury, with many fans eager to see how the player can perform under the new manager after an incredibly successful 18-month loan with Nottingham Forest, playing a big part of their play-off victory.
Although fans would have been excited to see new signings Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez feature in Australia, neither will be flying down under and will instead join up with the squad once they are back in England on 24 July.
🗞 Martínez has flown to Manchester for a medical and to wrap up the remaining elements of the transfer, including getting a visa. It is unlikely he will fly to Australia, and instead will link up with his new team-mates when they return to England on 24 July. [@sistoney67]— Utd District (@UtdDistrict) July 16, 2022
The match is due to kick off at 11:10 BST, 20:10 local time.
Featured Image Credit: Manchester United
Topics: Manchester United, Crystal Palace, Raphael Varane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire, David De Gea, Tahith Chong