Here we take a brief look at AIK Fotboll, the Swedish side United will face in Stockholm on 6 August...
The opposition AIK Fotboll, or Allmänna Idrottsklubben (roughly: The Public Sports Club), was founded in 1891 as a general sports club for the people of Stockholm. It wasn’t until 1896 that football was introduced but by 1900 AIK had collected its first Swedish silverware. Since the current league’s formation (the Allsvenskan, established in 1924), they’ve won the title five times – most recently in 2009 – and finished second on 11 occasions. That makes them, historically, the third most successful club in Sweden, behind Malmo FF and IFK Goteborg. AIK also hold the rather bizarre honour of winning the 1998 title by scoring the fewest goals of any team in the division (25 in 26 games).
The venue August’s match will take place in the new national stadium, Friends Arena, which was officially opened with a friendly against England in November 2012 (you may remember Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted four that night, including one sublime overhead kick from 30 yards). So, Wayne Rooney, Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck and Wilfried Zaha will already be familiar with the high-tech venue. AIK have used the ground since March 2013 after leaving behind the Rasunda Stadium, a venue that hosted the 1958 World Cup final.
Manager Andreas Alm is a young manager (he's just five months older than Ryan Giggs) who has been in charge at AIK since December 2010. A former player at the club between 2000 and 2003, he initially moved onto the coaching staff as an assistant manager in November 2008. As a coach he played a key role in helping guide AIK to the league and cup double in 2009 but has yet to taste major success since he was promoted to the top job.
Star man Young midfielder Robin Quaison has lit up the Allsvenskan this past 12 months with a string of fine performances for AIK. Although only 19 he’s already forced his way into the Sweden senior team (Robin is of Ghanaian descent but was born in Stockholm) thanks to his superb passing and vision. In some quarters, he’s already been nicknamed “the Scandinavian Xavi”.
Last season The Allsvenskan runs from April to November, so by the time United arrive in August AIK will be well and truly in gear. Last term the side finished fourth, narrowly missing out on a Europa League qualifying position.