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CONFIRMED LINE-UP: United vs Liverpool

De Gea; Evans, Smalling, Jones; Valencia, Herrera, Fletcher, Young; Mata; Rooney (C), Chicharito.

Liverpool: Mignolet, Kelly, Škrtel, Sakho, Johnson; Gerrard, Allen, Henderson; Coutinho, Sterling, Lambert.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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126 Comments

  1. lecho says:

    Herrera is rubbish, Rooney has no class, blah blah blah. Like Henderson or Lallana are football gods :D

  2. Unagi says:

    @The One.

    Funny thing is that when I read those “5 things learnt” on United games they focus on United.

    Liverpools 5 things we learnt (from one game only) focuses in 3 points out of 5 on United…

    So basically nothing was learnt about Liverpool according to anfieldbanter…

  3. Marko Maric says:

    Mata and Herrera are some of the best players happend to us in last couple of years. Mata roks, Herrera also. Dont get it, how he didn t get offers from other big clubs. They play on Univers level, unlike under Moyes.
    I so happy also for Rooney, he is the beast. You can see how he enjoy. And youngesters finally getting chance, and showing how good they are.
    Mata and Herrera fully fits in our philosophy of the club, game, attitude. So happy about them!

    Sterling with that hair, look like young rooster.

  4. Marko Maric says:

    But must say that guy Couthino is a class. GUy is only 22 yo and playing with so much athority. Great lad.

  5. Marko Maric says:

    @Samuel “Thought shaw looked really strong.. going forward he looks everything leighton baines wishes he was, one of the few english players i feel have the quality to justify the hype”

    And true fans wanted Baines hahahahh thank you God, that they dont run the club. How would our sqad look like in a year? Same Moyes left us in the 7th spot. I would recommend them to go for Moyes and support him. hahahhaha

    Now can you imagine that we get and Vidal,, Strootman? King of Univers!

    I have feeling that wit this strike force, we can go for PL even with poor defence. We shouldnt do that, but, i m so confidente.

    @Benjile Tee spot on about defence. Dont get it with Smalling and Jones. They are here for so long, and FOR NOW, they dont show any security in the defence.

    Don t get it why we dont go for William Carvalho.

  6. Blacksocks says:

    Really enjoyed the match a few hours ago. For a pre-season friendly, there wasn’t much “friendly” about it, especially considering the teams had both played 48hrs previously. Well done LVg, whose half time team talk and changes were spot on. Here’s my player ratings.

    De Gea – 7 Solid game, couple of good saves and composure under crosses but kicking was poor at times.

    Evans – 6 The scousers high pressure game noticably put him off his game and Coutinho had the better of him in the first half. Lost Lambert at a corner too.

    Smalling – 6.5 Made some timely tackles and headers but lack composure when in possession. The centre of a back 3 needs the ability to bring the ball into midfield, not sure Smalling is the right man for this.

    Jones – 6 Gave away a silly penalty and was given a tough time by Sterling in the first half. better second half though.

    Young – 9 Man of the Match performance for me. Despite having to swap wings after Valencia injury, he was constantly available, ran at players, drew fouls and put some good crosses in. Put in a defensive shift too. Looks a born WB.

    Valencia – Injured after 11 mins and subbed for Shaw.

    Fletcher – 6.5 Looked tired and passing was off target as often as it was on. That said, he was always looking to play the ball forward with pace along the ground. Something we saw very little of last season.

    Herrera – 7 Great first touch and good link up with Mata. Guilty of giving the ball away a bit too much but was always tennacious in trying to win it back and often did. Stronger than he looks and not afraid to get stuck in. Booked.

    Mata – 7 Quiet first half by his standards but clearly relishing his role behind two strikers. Had a great battle with Gerrard and took his goal well too (even if there was a deflection!)

    Rooney – 8 A real Captains display by our Wazza. Worked tirelessly up front and great run and finish for his goal. I saw him encouraging others too. Looks fitter and a bit leaner than for some time.

    Hernandez – 6.5 Fabulous cross for Rooney’s goal but should have scored in the first half. Made some good runs off the ball but was subdued at times. Well marked by Sakho in fairness who was Liverpools best player.

    SUBS:

    Shaw – 7 Came on early for Valencia and had quiet first half followed by a dominant second. Was clearly instructed to get further up the pitch at half time and he did, to good effect.

    Cleverley – 6.5 Half time sub for Fletcher. Worked hard off the ball but had little effect when in possesion except for a great pass in the build up to the third goal.

    Blackett – 7.5 Half time sub for Evans. If we had just spent £10M on this kid we would all be very happy!!! Very comfortable on the ball, passed well, drove into midfield and showed Jones how to stay on your feet when defending in the box. I hope it is not the last time we see him in a United shirt this season.

    Kagawa – 6 Late sub for Mata but didn’t really influence events.

    Nani – 5 Late sub for Hernandez and gave the ball away in dangerous positions – on his way out surely.

    Lindgard – 7 A late cameo, a chance to impress and with a lovely half volley from 20 yds out he did just that!

  7. mjc021278 says:

    For me the revelation of this tour has been Blackett. He has shown a strength and purpose to his game that none of Evans, Jones or Smalling have shown. I know it’s early but this guy looks like he could be a mainstay, all we need to do is convert him to one of the two central berths. Our left side looks far stronger than our right, with Rafael – who I’m not convinced will ever lose his petulance and tendency to switch off – having no real competition.

    Good in patches last night but the same frailties remain. No power and drive in midfield and no conviction or authority in defence. I’m fast losing patience with Jones now, his recklessness is beyond a joke and between him and Rafael we’re going to conced needless free kicks and pens all over the shop. If Evans is the ball playing central defender then we’re in trouble, his perpetual caught in two minds state will always be exposed by a intensive pressing opposition and he looks like he can be bullied by even a lumbering journey man striker such as Lambert.

    I must admit with every game played I’ve got it more and more wrong with Rooney. He’s stood up and adapted well so far under Van Gaal. He looks as fit as I’ve seen him and certainly looks like he’s halting the slow decline of the last 2 or 3 seasons. Well done Wazza.

    Of the candidates offered up as being most likely to be shipped out, only Kagawa is the one I hope stays. injuries to Herrera and Mata and we’re in trouble. He offers a quality that surely must see him stay. If he does go, it must be in a deal that sees the likes of Vidal, Reus, Hummels coming the over way.

    With a top quality centre back, right back and defensive midfielder brought in, we can put ourselves right back in contention. Without these, the same underlying problems will continue to hamper us and will see us struggle to make top 4.

  8. The One says:

    @Unagi, exactly, that just goes to show how utterly pathetic and desperate these people are….and we weren’t even done with the game yet. They’re definitely worried about us doing better than they this season, no doubt about that.

  9. Dan Young says:

    this season could be a big one for jesse lingard. he just always does something when he comes on, who wouldnt at least want him on the bench. he can do a job in 7 of the outfield positions, but most impresses in 3 of those. and in my opinion he is already one of the top finishers in the squad whether its in the 6 yard box or from 20 yards out, if the balls at his feet i feel confident he will find the back of the net.

    another player that i think is set to have a breakthrough season is blackett, LVG said ‘he can play at this level, but can he do it for every match?’ .. well, he has done so far, after helping snuff out madrid on saturday he then helped bring composure to our back line coming on against liverpool on the monday. save the money that might go on vermaelan and bring blackett through, then put the vermaelan money towards hummels

    also a thankyou to tom cleverley for proving my opinion right the other day, we brought him on and suddenly we were keeping the ball and playing on our terms. he didnt do anything to the build up to any goals but he didnt have to, he kept hold of the ball and let the more technically advanced players take care of the rest

  10. Mirainashe says:

    People were making the comment earlier about how this is only preseason and it means nothing. I think that’s just bull. If it means nothing then exactly how do teams test themselves out for the upcoming competitive season? If we play like crap during season and get beaten in every game,you all get mad like “we need new players”etc. But when we win,playing well you say “it’s meaningless friendlies”. Before the World Cup,you have friendlies. What for? Just to pass time? No. It’s for preparation. Playing well during friendlies is not a negative but a positive. It shows the system is working and the players are responding well. Back in the day we had friendlies in South Africa and Thailand playing teams like Amazulu and Tokyo FC or whatever. Now all our friendlies have been against top teams and we won very convincingly. Not just winning. For me the way we played is reason for great optimism. We have hardly seen a more well oiled system at United preseason or not,in a long time. That’s why I’m very optimistic. A big part of me is hoping we don’t sign Vidal or any other superstar. I really believe in LVG’s tactical excellence to take the league by storm

  11. iamMatty says:

    Cleverly once again having another good game.
    These mugs slacking of jones for the penalty ought to be ashamed of themselves. Were you also calling for vidic to be axed for all the penalties and sending-offs he’s received against liverpool over the years?
    You complain about a player lacking experience, but your solution is for millions of pounds to be spent for another player in his position?. Embarassing really.
    Honestly some of you lack the mental strength and patience to be called fans.

  12. The One says:

    @iamMatty, I think it’ll do your health a lot more good to ignore these posters but they’re really pathetic!!

  13. Mirainashe says:

    @ Samuel

    You know I used to think you didn’t like Kagawa or maybe you felt he was not good enough. You’ve been quite generous with your appraisals though,so maybe I was wrong lol. But I agree. Mata has some stiff competition for that role with Kagawa. Not sure about Januzaj though. If I had it my way I’d play Kagawa in that spot first ahead of Mata because I feel he is more subtle. But then again,Mata has momentum and Kagawa is seemingly low on confidence. Januzaj however,is gonna struggle for games if both Mata and Kagawa are around and both playing well. He is behind these two for that role behind the strikers. And I think at his level,it’s a big responsibility to throw on him regularly. He needs a more wider role. Not a winger but more like LAM or RAM,like Oscar or Hazard.

    But that’s where my problem with Van Gaal’s system lies. Players like Januzaj will struggle,just like Nani and Zaha. In this system,you have 2 strikers and one CAM,which means any other attacker who can’t play these roles,will have to move on. There’s no room for attacking mids. Januzaj is way too inexperienced to take the central role and it would be irresponsible to throw him in the line of fire like that. If Mata loses form,he has Kagawa breathing down his neck. At the same time you have Welbeck breathing down RVP and Rooney’s necks for the striker role. If either loses form or gets injured,Welbeck comes in. If both Kagawa and Mata can’t play,Rooney takes the number 10 role and Welbeck gets the nod. So basically it’s a rotation of Rooney,Mata,RVP,Welbeck,Kagawa,Chicharito and Januzaj probably in that order of priority for 3 spots over 38 guaranteed games and hopefully more than a dozen cup games. That’s too little time with very high stakes to give the likes of Januzaj reasonable game time. We have to sell Kagawa and Hernandez this summer to create better balance

  14. Tommy says:

    Always a pleasure beating those scousers, said before the Real Madrid game, this was a pre season game that is as good as it gets and I said before the Liverpool game this is a pre season game we have to win, simple as that, We were pretty poor first half, apart from Young who should of had 2 assists but 2nd half we stepped it up a bit and deservadly ran out easy winners, been a great pre season, winning becomes a habit and so does losing, we lose pre season games last year and we took that form into the season, hopefully we will take the winning form into this season, come on reds.

  15. trevor knightsmith says:

    Tommy,

    I agree with what you say and I’m looking forward to the new season a great deal.

    Our youngsters seem to be prospering under LVG , and as for Young, what can I say ? I was one of his biggest critics, but his performances at wing back have been excellent, albeit in friendly matches.

    Talking about a change of position , it looks increasingly likely that Fellaini will be off to Napoli on loan .

    Unless LVG has a nailed on centre back in the pipeline , what do you think of giving Fellaini a run out in that position ?

    One thing that is certain though, is that the dippers will not starting as favourites at Old Trafford this season !

  16. Mark Reid says:

    Great tour fantastic in every sense the crowds the reception and above all the football .Loved finally seeing the young lads play as we don’t ever see em unless you can get to the games.
    Tyler Blackett great,Jesse L,Keane,Wilson all did themselves proud.
    Rooney reborn and Ashley Young WTF .Herra execelent ,Shaw fitting in nicely,Mata finding form I could go on.Of course there will be hiccups and we still may need a player or 2 (can’t hurt)Anyway back home big week coming up but really looking forward to the season.United United United.

  17. The One says:

    @Tommy, couldn’t agree more. One of the best pre-seasons I’ve experienced, thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly beating real madrid and more so the bin dippers.

  18. iamMatty says:

    Any news on that lad nick powell?
    Got big expectations of him this year, never disappointed me whenever he’s played in central midfield. Think the new lvg high tempo fast one-two pass system would suit him to a tee.

  19. iamMatty says:

    Really sad how dave petrucci’s career has panned out thus far.
    Kid looked awesome before those injuries stalled his development.

  20. demoniclsayer says:

    I still think we could use a Vidal or Strootman alike player if we couldn’t get Vidal. Yes, although United might not have UCL to fight for, but I believe if these players continue to improve for LVG, they may have a greater chance in landing a CL throphy compared to SAF. I am not saying we should overspent but the winning of UCL coupled with BPL would give us more sponsorship and greater fanbase (of gloryhunters ^ ^ ) which could compensate what is spent. While some players needed to be sold or loan out, I do hope the youths or newly bought players will improve to be the next LVG “fledglings” which could compete with any European’s best players of their respected position.

    I think Ben Amos will be sold this time to make way for the new goalkeeper signing. But I think a DM is still what we need the most. Blackett has been doing marvelously and could pack a challenge for the position of CB. Jones, Evans and Smallings will need to do more than that if they want to stay in United.

  21. demoniclsayer says:

    I think there is a rumour of Arsene Wenger trying to sign William Carvalho. If United doesn’t want to buy a Vidal, maybe a Carvalho could be a good replacement. Unless we are willing to splash a lot of cash for a Vidal and Carvalho to replace some United midfielders like Cleverly, Fellaini which maybe going or Carrick which may need a replacement too. It would boost our chances back to the top.

  22. Mark Reid says:

    @iam Matty I was wondering about Powell too.Tommy whats the word?

  23. The One says:

    Me too, I’d really love for Nick Powell to get a chance this season. Really surprised he wasn’t picked for the tour. Does anyone have any reliable feed on Nick?

  24. Redfarmer says:

    I like powell too, strong build, positive passing and a heck of a shot on him. I thought he was impressive when SAF used him the few times he did. Would also like to know his status.

    Agree with what has been said about the downside to this system. Seems like a lot of the promising academy players are wingers CAM or strikers (of course I don’t get the privilege of seeing them in person, so I could very well be talking out my ass). Not too many wing backs or DM coming through (which makes sense considering the traditional 442 is used).

  25. Tommy says:

    @Mark reid

    Erm Wilson was not on the tour mate, did you watch the games lol

    @iamMatty, Mark Reid and the one

    he was injured start of season and travelled out to the States around the time of the Inter game, dont know if it was just so LVG could see him training or he had a recuring injury or he just wasnt fit, not sure why he wasnt used but he did go out to the States. I dont know how many games you have seen Powell play matty but he was a forward at crewe, played as a forwards for uniteds under 21s and was a forward and number 10 in some games for Wigan, I do see him as a midfielder though

    @dmoniclsayer

    The position we need the most is CB, we have only got 3 recognised first team CBS in a back 3, its the iquiveland of playing 442 with only 2 centre mids in the squad lol

  26. Mark Reid says:

    @Tommy ooops you are correct mate I meant Reese James,Geting senile.

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