Erik ten Hag might be aboutErik ten Hag might be about to confirm his first-choice Manchester United XI against Atletico Madrid this afternoon.
The key discussion points leading up to Man Utd’s penultimate preseason encounter against Atletico Madrid are listed here.
Both Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez participated in Manchester United’s friendly match played behind closed doors in the middle of the week, but they will make their first official team appearances this weekend.
In that game at Carrington against Wrexham, Eriksen, 30, scored a free-kick, and Martinez played just an hour after his transfer from Ajax was officially disclosed.
Prior to the first genuine test this weekend, each of them was given a half of football to assist them get up to speed. The pair will be eager to seize the opportunity and force their way into the starting lineup for the Premier League opener against Brighton.
Erik ten Hag is anticipated to select his strongest team for the friendly against Atletico Madrid due to the doubleheader this weekend before utilizing the game against Rayo Vallecano as a chance to give players who lack playing time a chance.
This suggests that by the time the team announcement is made on Saturday afternoon, we may already know how United will line up for their season opener the following weekend.
During preseason, Ten Hag appears to have decided on a fairly reliable starting lineup, but there are still open spots in midfield and defense, and those decisions are made more difficult by the two recent summer additions.
The encounter against Diego Simeone’s team should be the biggest test of the summer calendar thus far. Ten Hag will want his best starting lineup to use the game as a barometer for the standards that must be immediately attained in the next season.
The chances afforded to United’s most promising young players during the most recent preseason tour were among the tour’s more heartening features, with Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal both taking their turns in the senior lineup.
This summer, there has been interest in loans for the two young midfielders, but Ten Hag and his coaches preferred that they earn priceless first-team experience.
It will be fascinating to watch what role, if any, Iqbal and Savage play this weekend. They will gain a lot from what they have learnt this summer. The Ullevaal Stadion participation would almost certainly cement their new senior squad responsibilities.
Even though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a national icon, was fired during United’s worst Premier League season, the club’s popularity hasn’t diminished as it heads to Oslo.
Indeed, with United supporters as fervent as ever about watching their club in action, Manchester United Supporters’ Club Scandinavia has exceeded its membership record as Ten Hag begins his first season.
With Liverpool having the second-best fan base in the nation, interest in Manchester City will increase now that Erling Haaland has joined the club. On Saturday night, those two teams will square off in the Community Shield, but before that, United will be the center of attention in Norway.