By Dave Marshall
Manchester United will look to continue the excellent pre-season form when we take on Barcelona in the International Champions Cup in Washington on Thursday.
The Red Devils dispatched Real Madrid on Saturday on penalties and will be looking to win outright against Ernesto Valverde’s men. United new signings, Victor Lindelof and Romelu Lukaku have looked decent, and with the new season just some three weeks to go, the match should see a semblance of a first team setting, though players like Ander Herrera and Juan Mata have picked up injuries in this summer’s pre-season tour.
We take a look at the probable lineup for the clash.
De Gea is expected to remain in goal after his penalty shootout heroics against Madrid on Saturday. The 26-year-old Spain international is expected to remain at Old Trafford despite speculation linking him to Real Madrid this summer yet again.
Anthony Valencia should come into the side after Timothy Fosu-Mensah shone against Madrid in the right back slot. In the heart of the defence, Jose has not tested the Bailly-Lindelof partnership which is expected to be the first choice partnership going into the season, and should be used to enable them understand each other. At left back, Daley Blind should come in to that role and offer more attacking outlet than the more defensive Matteo Darmian.
The absence of Ander Herrera means that Michael Carrick should play and try to dictate the tempo of play from a Manchester United perspective. Alongside him should be Paul Pogba as the partner in the midfield two. Pogba has looked very sharp so far, and big things are expected from the midfielder after an indifferent first season back in English football.
Further up as an attacking midfield trio should be Mkhitaryan, Martial and Jesse Lingard. All three are looking fit and sharp this summer, and should play against the Camp Nou outfit. Martial was excellent against Madrid as his assist for Lingard’s goal was exquisite.
Lukaku should play from the start after he was brought on for the clash against Madrid. The £75m striker is being eased into the team, and a record of 2 goals in 3 matches means that he is on the right track and will be a very good addition.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Bailly, Lindelof, Blind, Pogba, Carrick, Martial, Mkhitaryan, Lingard, Lukaku