Match preview: Derby v United
Manchester United’s pre-season campaign kicks off on Sunday, with a visit to Pride Park to take on Championship side Derby County.
The Rams are, of course, managed by our all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney and the 35-year-old will be reunited with his old club and some of his former team-mates for the first time since retiring from the game late last year.
Derby narrowly retained their place in the second tier last season on the final day, but will provide good opposition as the Reds get back to action, 53 days on from defeat to Villarreal in the Europa League final.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game…
HOW CAN I FOLLOW THE MATCH?
The game kicks off at 13:00 BST on Sunday 18 July and fans can watch it live, exclusively on MUTV. To view the games on MUTV, subscribe today and enjoy 12 months for the price of six! To claim this exclusive offer, go to mutv.manutd.com and enter the code MUTVTOUR21. Please note, this offer can only be claimed on mutv.manutd.com, not via the MUTV App.
You can also follow the game live, via the Official Man Utd App and the Match Centre on ManUtd.com.
WHICH REDS ARE AVAILABLE?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not have his full first-team squad to choose from, with those who were involved in summer tournaments enjoying some time off ahead of the new season, which starts on 14 August with a home clash against Leeds United. Eric Bailly and Amad are away at the Olympics with Ivory Coast. There could be a chance to see recent arrival Tom Heaton in action, with Ole highlighting the goalkeeper as one of the ‘top professionals’ our youngsters could learn from in pre-season, along with the likes of Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata.
Dean Henderson returned to training on Tuesday, after missing England’s Euro 2020 campaign with a hip injury, while Nathan Bishop and Tahith Chong are still with the group helping out before they join Mansfield and Birmingham on loan respectively for the season. To see who took part in the most recent session, check out Tuesday’s gallery.
United last played at Pride Park in March 2020, in an Emirates FA Cup fifth-round tie. Luke Shaw’s opener and an Odion Ighalo brace secured an emphatic victory in one of our final games prior to the first coronavirus lockdown. Rooney played the full 90 minutes and went close to scoring from free-kicks twice. That was the seventh Rams v Reds meeting in domestic cup competition since the East Midlanders were relegated from the Premier League in 2008, with five ending in United wins.
RAMS TO WATCH
Derby may be able to call upon two former Reds for the friendly. Newly appointed club captain Tom Lawrence came through the ranks at Old Trafford and made one senior appearance, while fellow Academy graduate Ravel Morrison has reportedly been training with the Rams this week as he attempts to find a new club ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
Rooney’s side are currently under an EFL transfer embargo, meaning they can only bring players in on free transfers or loans, and former Everton and Sheffield United defender Phil Jagielka, who was released by the Blades after their Premier League relegation, has also been on trial.
United’s pre-season schedule continues with a UK training camp next week. We will then face QPR at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium on Saturday 24 July, before returning to the north-west ahead of further fixtures with Brentford (H, 28 July), Preston (A, 31 July) and Everton (H, 7 August).
Home tickets for the Brentford and Everton games are on public sale. Fans can log in to tickets.manutd.com to purchase.