Manchester United travel to Germany for our final pre-season match ahead of the 2018/19 season, against one of Europe’s most decorated sides in Bayern Munich. Here’s everything you need to know…
Setting the scene… The Reds take on reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich on Sunday evening in our final game of pre-season, ahead of our first game of 2018/19 in the Premier League, against Leicester City at Old Trafford next Friday, 10 August. Jose Mourinho, the players and his staff returned from the beneficial two-and-a-half week trip to the United States on Wednesday and head to the newly revamped Allianz Arena in Germany in confident mood after rounding off Tour 2018, presented by Aon, with a morale-boosting 2-1 victory over European champions Real Madrid in Miami.
How can I watch the game? The match will kick off at 19:15 BST on Sunday evening (20:15 local time) and will be screened live on MUTV in the UK and Ireland only.
Where will the game be played? Our final pre-season fixture takes place at Bayern Munich’s iconic Allianz Arena. The 75,000-seater stadium has been the club’s home since 2005 and is the second-largest ground in Germany. It played host to the 2012 Champions League final and six games during the 2006 World Cup.
When did we last meet Bayern? The Reds last faced the German giants in 2014, during David Moyes’s tenure as manager. The clubs drew the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final 1-1, with Nemanja Vidic netting for United and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who joined the Reds in 2015, scoring for Pep Guardiola’s Bayern at Old Trafford. In the return fixture eight days later, a late rally from the Germans cancelled out Patrice Evra’s stunning second-half strike and meant Bayern progressed to a semi-final showdown against Real Madrid.
Have Bayern done much business in the transfer market? It’s been a quiet window so far for Bayern, whose only new acquisition is Leon Goretzka. The midfielder, who was part of Germany's squad at the World Cup in Russia, joined from Schalke on a free transfer. However, they could yet lose the services of influential Chile midfielder Arturo Vidal, who is reportedly the subject of intense interest from Barcelona.
Who is in charge of our opponents? Niko Kovac is about to embark on his first season in the hotseat at Bayern Munich, replacing Jupp Heynckes who retired at the end of last season after his fourth spell in charge of the club. Once the captain of Croatia, former midfielder Kovac played for Bayern during a 19-year playing career which was largely spent in the Bundesliga. He managed Croatia at the 2014 World Cup before becoming the head coach of Eintracht Frankfurt in 2016. The 46-year-old guided the club to the 2017 DFB-Pokal Final, where they were beaten 2-1 by Borussia Dortmund in their first major final for 11 years, but he went one better last season by masterminding a 2-1 success over his current employers Bayern in the final as Frankfurt won their first major title since 1988.
Who’s up next? The 2018/19 Premier League season kicks off on Friday night as we welcome Claude Puel’s Leicester City to Old Trafford. United hosted the Foxes in August last season and ran out 2-0 winners, thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini, before drawing 2-2 at the King Power Stadium just before Christmas in the reverse fixture.