Inter Milan v United: All you need to know
After starting Tour 2019 with two wins in Australia, Manchester United's third match is against Inter Milan in Singapore.
Here’s the key information you need to know as we count down to a game that will be shown live on MUTV…
Strolling into Singapore Gallery
Recapture the moment the Reds arrived in Asia for leg two of Tour 2019...
WHAT'S THE LATEST?
After beating Perth Glory and Leeds United in our first two pre-season games in Perth, the Reds have headed off to Singapore, where we’ll take on Inter. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be joined in the second stop of Tour 2019 by Matteo Darmian, Fred and Dean Henderson, who are set to jet out to meet up with the Reds after missing the matches in Australia. The boss will also be hoping he can call on services of David De Gea, Lee Grant, Luke Shaw and Romelu Lukaku against Inter, with the quartet all absent from the 4-0 victory over Leeds on Wednesday.
As for the Nerazzurri, they began their pre-season preparations on Sunday by beating Swiss side Lugano 2-1, thanks to goals from Stefano Sensi and Marcelo Brozovic. Inter arrived in Singapore on Wednesday and, after facing United, will take on Juventus and Tottenham Hotspur in the ICC.
WILL IT BE SHOWN ON MUTV?
Yes - like all of United's pre-season games, it will be shown live on MUTV. The exclusive build-up begins at 11:30 BST, one hour before kick-off at 12:30 BST (19:30 local time).
HAVE WE PLAYED IN SINGAPORE BEFORE?
United last played in Singapore in 2001, as part of our pre-season tour of Asia. Sir Alex Ferguson’s Reds beat Team Singapore 8-1 at the Kallang Stadium, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (2), Phil Neville, David Beckham, Dwight Yorke (2), Ruud van Nistelrooy and Ryan Giggs all on target for United. However, the undoubted highlight of the game was goalkeeper Fabian Barthez’s brief cameo as an outfield player.
United will play at Singapore’s National Stadium, which replaced the former ground where the Reds played during our last trip to the country 18 years ago. The 55,000-capacity venue has configurable spectator tiers, meaning front-row seats can be removed when needed, and it's the only arena in the world which can be redesigned to host football, rugby, cricket and athletics events. The spectacular stadium is also the largest dome structure in the world and contains a retractable roof. The National Stadium is part of the Singapore Sports Hub, which includes an indoor stadium, an aquatic centre, museum, water sports centre and much more. The arena will also host Juventus against Tottenham in the ICC.
WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP?
The ICC is an international pre-season tournament which pits many of the best teams in the world against each other, in some of the most impressive stadiums. The competition’s format has altered over the years but ,in 2019, 12 teams will compete in the event, with each playing three matches in multiple venues. This year, the tournament is staged across Europe, Asia and the United States of America and will ultimately see one side finish top of the 12-team group. It is also worth nothing that all games in the ICC which end in a draw are decided by a penalty shoot-out, with teams awarded two points for a win on penalties and one point for a shoot-out defeat.
WHO ELSE IS PLAYING?
United will be joined in the tournament by Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, while Inter’s Serie A rivals Juventus, AC Milan and Roma are also in this year’s competition. It’s not just English and Italian sides in the event, as Bayern Munich, Benfica, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will also feature in the competition, while Mexican side Guadalajara are the only non-European team to take part.
This is the sixth time we have competed in the tournament, the first of which came in 2014. On that occasion, the Reds were crowned the winners, beating Liverpool in the final after overcoming Inter Milan, Roma and Real Madrid in the group stage. The following year, United finished third out of 10 teams competing in the North America and Europe section, while in 2016, our game against rivals Manchester City had to be cancelled due to extreme weather. Last summer, the Reds won two out of three games, beating AC Milan and Real Madrid but losing to rivals Liverpool.
HOW DID INTER GET ON LAST SEASON?
The Nerazzurri secured a Champions League qualification spot on the final day of the Serie A season, meaning in 2019/20 they will play in Europe’s premier competition for the second year in a row. Inter beat Empoli 2-1 in the last round of fixtures to ensure they finished a point clear of city rivals AC Milan. In the cup competitions, they were less successful. In the Coppa Italia, Inter bowed out in the quarter-finals, losing on penalties to eventual winners Lazio. In the Champions League, the San Siro outfit finished third in a group that contained Barcelona and Tottenham, yet gained passage to the Europa League, where they were eliminated in the last 16 by Eintracht Frankfurt.
United fans will recognise the familiar sight of Antonio Conte on the sidelines when we lock horns with Inter. The Italian spent two years at our rivals Chelsea, where he won the Premier League in 2017 and the FA Cup a year later, beating the Reds in the final. Conte departed the London club in 2018 and, after a year out of the game, the 49-year-old replaced Luciano Spalletti at the end of the 2018/19 season at Inter. Conte’s distinguished managerial career has also seen him take charge of Atalanta, Juventus and the Italy national team.
WHAT'S OUR RECORD LIKE AGAINST INTER?
We’ve met the Serie A outfit competitively four times before, both of which came over two-legged, knock-out Champions League ties. United eliminated Inter on both occasions - the first, very memorably, on our way to European glory in 1999 and the second came a decade later, when goals from Nemanja Vidic and Cristiano Ronaldo in the second leg meant we won 2-0 on aggregate in the last-16 stage. Our last meeting with Inter actually came in the ICC, when we beat Walter Mazzarri’s side on penalties in 2014.
A CLASSIC ENCOUNTER
A brace from Dwight Yorke proved to be the difference between the teams when we met in the first leg of our 1999 double header in the quarter-finals. The game is also remembered for Peter Schmeichel’s superb save to keep out Ivan Zamorano’s diving header in the second period. The Old Trafford victory, coupled with a 1-1 draw at the San Siro two weeks later, ensured our progression to the semi-final stage of the Champions League.
WHO IS INTER MILAN'S STAR MAN?
Radja Nainggolan is one of the top holding midfielders in world football. An excellent tackler and passer of the ball, the Belgian’s positional sense is also fantastic. Despite his defensive qualities, Nainggolan still has an eye for goal, as he showed in the 2018/19 season when he found the back of the net seven times across 36 appearances in all competitions.
WHO ELSE ARE WE PLAYING IN PRE-SEASON?
After Saturday’s game we next face our Premier League foes Tottenham in the ICC in Shanghai on 25 July. We then travel to Norway to take on Ole’s hometown club Kristiansund five days later before facing our last pre-season match against AC Milan on 3 August. The clash in Cardiff will also be our third and final ICC match, then our attention will switch to the big Premier League kick-off just over a week later against Chelsea.
All of our pre-season games are being shown live on MUTV, including the clashes with Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan.
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