August 2023's key dates for all United fans
It’s the opening day of August, so we’ve entered the month when competitive football will be played for the first time in 2023/24 at Manchester United.
Before then, there are two final pre-season outings to come for our men’s team, while August’s schedule also contains a mix of friendly and competitive action for the club’s Academy sides.
United Women’s term doesn’t get under way until October, although several of Marc Skinner’s Reds have advanced to the knockout phase of the ongoing World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with their nations, and we’ll also be following their progress closely as the business end of the tournament plays out this month.
All that and more makes for an exciting period ahead, and below is a rundown of some of the key dates which you can keep an eye out for…
5/6 AUGUST – PRE-SEASON DOUBLE-HEADER
For the second successive pre-season campaign, United will play our final two summer friendlies on back-to-back days across one weekend. This Saturday, Ten Hag’s Reds return to Old Trafford with French top-flight outfit Lens – the club where Raphael Varane started his professional footballing journey – the opposition (12:45 BST), before a meeting with La Liga side Athletic Club awaits in Dublin on Sunday (16:00 BST).
Tickets for the latter are sold out, but there are a limited number remaining for the first game at the Theatre of Dreams. Both matches will also be streamed on MUTV, across a double-header which will provide your last chance to see the Reds in action before the new campaign kicks off.
5/7 AUGUST – WOMEN’S WORLD CUP LAST-16 INVOLVEMENT
Our attention on Saturday will be on proceedings at Old Trafford and at the Sky Stadium in New Zealand, where United Women midfielder Vilde Boe Risa will be looking to help Norway progress past Japan in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup. Kick-off in that one is before the men’s friendly in M16, getting under way at 09:00 BST.
Having advanced to the first knockout round as Group D winners earlier today, it will be England’s turn in the round of 16 on Monday (08:30 BST). Our Lionesses trio – Mary Earps, Ella Toone and Katie Zelem – could all feature when the European champions take on Nigeria in Brisbane.
Wins for our players will, of course, set up more highly anticipated contests in the knockout rounds across the month, as they strive to reach – and win – the tournament’s final, which takes place on Sunday 20 August (11:00 BST).
7 AUGUST – ACADEMY FRIENDLY V CHESTER
On Monday evening, there’s also action to keep an eye on closer to home. Our Under-21s are back in action, continuing preparations for the new campaign with a friendly away to National League North club Chester.
Kick-off at the Deva Stadium is at 19:45 BST and supporters can purchase tickets for the encounter here.
14 AUGUST – OUR PREMIER LEAGUE OPENER
The wait for United’s 2023/24 league campaign will be over when the first ball is kicked at 20:00 BST in M16. The Reds host Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford, in the Premier League opening round’s Monday-night offering.
The competition is set to start three days earlier (Friday 11 August), when champions Manchester City face Championship winners Burnley at Turf Moor, before eight further matches take place across the division over the course of the following Saturday and Sunday, prior to our starting fixture.
18-20 AUGUST – 2023 OTTEN CUP
Between Friday 18 and Saturday 20 August, our Academy will take part in the Otten Cup, an innovative Under-19s tournament set to be played out in the Netherlands. We have had a team involved before, reaching the final in 2016, while the latest edition is to have a number of interesting rule changes, which you can find out more about here.
United have been drawn into Group B of the eight-club competition, alongside Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors (South Korea), FC Copenhagen (Denmark) and PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands).
Before this event, an Under-19s team is also entering the Mladen Ramljak Memorial Tournament in Croatia, between 3-6 August.
Five days on from United's Premier League opener at home to Wolves, our men’s campaign is poised to continue with a first away fixture of the new season. A visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is in order on Saturday 19 August (17:30 BST) for a duel with Spurs, in what will be new head coach Ange Postecoglu’s first competitive home game in charge of the north London club since being appointed in the summer.
22 AUGUST – EFL TROPHY STARTS
The action keeps on coming as we approach the end of the month. Our Under-21s will begin their EFL Trophy campaign on 22 August, on the back of reaching the third round in 2022/23. Stockport County will be the first of our youngsters’ three senior group-stage opponents this term, with a trip to the League Two side’s home ground, Edgeley Park, scheduled to kick off at 19:30 BST.
Our schedule will then continue with away matches against Bolton Wanderers and Salford City in the autumn.
26 AUGUST – UNITED V FOREST AT OLD TRAFFORD
Following Wolves at home and Tottenham on the road, Ten Hag’s side are to play the third and final game of our Premier League season’s opening month, on 26 August. Nottingham Forest will be the visitors to the Theatre of Dreams, and that could mean a first return to Old Trafford for United Academy graduate Anthony Elanga, who made a permanent switch between the clubs in July.
The game is in the ‘Saturday 3pm’ slot in the UK, as is the case for three of our first four league games at Old Trafford in 2023/24.
31 AUGUST – UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE DRAW
Before the month is out, we’ll know who we have been paired with in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League, upon our return to the competition this season. The draw is to get under way at 17:00 BST, from the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco.
Following this, we’ll also know who our youngsters will come up against in the first phase of our 2023/24 UEFA Youth League campaign. We’ll enter the Under-19s competition in the group stage via the Champions League path, in which the draw mirrors that of the senior tournament. Our young Reds will face Academy sides from the clubs that Ten Hag’s men will do battle with, home and away, across six matchdays.