Tour 2019: Your guide to our opponents
With opposition including local rivals, European heavyweights and a team from Down Under, Tour 2019 is shaping up to be a challenging pre-season schedule - ideal preparation for the 2019/20 campaign.
The fixture list will comprise of two initial friendlies in Perth, Australia, before three games in the International Champions Cup (ICC) - two of which will take place in Asia and the final match being staged at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. This will be the Reds' sixth consecutive year of competing in the ICC, a tournament we last won in 2014 by beating Liverpool in the final. Sandwiched between our three ICC fixtures, Ole's side will make the trip to Scandinavia to face Norwegian side, Kristiansund in Oslo.
Here's everything you need to know about the teams we will be facing this summer...
Australian A-League side Perth Glory will be our first opponents for Tour 2019. The Western Australia-based outfit, who play their domestic games at the nib Stadium, will face the Reds in a friendly at the 60,000-capacity Optus Stadium on 13 July.
The Glory, as they are known by supporters, enjoyed a superb season in 2018/19 and finished top of the A-League after picking up 60 points from 27 games. The club also finished as runners-up in the A-League grand final - a competition contested at the end of the season between the top six sides in the division - after they were beaten on penalties by Sydney FC.
Our July opponents are managed by former Australian international and ex-Crystal Palace defender Tony Popovic. Fans of English football may also recognise former Republic of Ireland striker Andy Keogh in their ranks along with veterans of the Football League, Shane Lowry and Neil Kilkenny.
A team that needs no introduction to our fans, Leeds are the Reds’ second opponents of Tour 2019, as we face the Yorkshire outfit in a friendly at the Optus Stadium on 17 July.
For most of the 2018/19 season it appeared that this summer’s match would be a dress rehearsal for our first Premier League meetings in 15 years, but Leeds’ promotion hopes were dashed after a late season slump that saw them finish third in the Championship. Marcelo Bielsa’s men also faced heartbreak in the play-offs, letting a two-goal aggregate lead slip to Derby County at the semi-final stage.
The last time the Reds faced the Whites was in the League Cup in 2011, when a Michael Owen brace and an excellent Ryan Giggs finish saw Sir Alex Ferguson's side run out 3-0 victors at Elland Road.
Internazionale, better known as Inter Milan, are United's third opponents and will be the first team we face in our ICC campaign at the Singapore National Stadium on 20 July. The Nerazzurri, currently managed by Luciano Spalletti, are fourth in the Serie A table ahead of the final round of league fixtures this weekend. In their quest to gain a Champions League spot, Inter currently are just a point ahead of their city rivals, and fellow Tour 2019 opponents, AC Milan, and also trail third-placed Atalanta by a single point.
The Reds have faced Inter in two Champions League knockout ties, in 1999 and 2009. In our Treble-winning campaign, the Reds won 2-0 at Old Trafford before a 1-1 draw in Milan saw us advance to the semi-finals of the competition, while a decade later, Sir Alex Ferguson's side got the better of the Serie A outfit in the round of 16.
Our fourth Tour 2019 opponents are Tottenham Hotspur, with United set to meet the north London club at the Hongkou Stadium in Shanghai on 20 July. This clash will see two former ICC winners come up against one another, with us taking the crown in 2014 and Spurs in 2018.
This season, Tottenham finished fourth in the Premier League table and are currently preparing to take on Liverpool in the Champions League final on 1 June.
The two sides last met in January, when we beat Mauricio Pochettino's team 1-0 at Wembley thanks to Marcus Rashford’s first-half strike and some sublime saves form David De Gea.
Squeezed between our International Champions Cup fixtures is a trip to Ole's native Norway to face his hometown side Kristiansund BK at the 28,000 capacity Ullevaal Stadion, Norway's national stadium, on 30 July.
The Reds last made the trip across the North Sea in 2017, with Marouane Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku and Scott McTominay on the scoresheet in a 3-0 victory against Valerenga.
Kristiansund will be partway through their Eliteserien campaign when they meet Ole's side, having finished the previous season in fifth place.
Our final opponents of Tour 2019 are seven-time European champions AC Milan, and we will face the Italian heavyweights at the Principality Stadium in Wales on 3 August.
Fans won't need to look back far to find the last meeting between the two clubs, which came in last season's ICC. On that occasion, Alexis Sanchez was on the scoresheet as United won 9-8 on penalties at the Rose Bowl in California.
However, our last competitive clash with Milan was nine years ago, when we met in the Champions League last-16 stage. It was a tie to remember for the Reds as we advanced with a 7-2 aggregate victory.
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