The Premier League season restarts next week and some clubs are trying to get their players match fit again by playing competitive friendlies. It’s almost like a mini pre-season for Project Restart.
On Friday afternoon, Manchester United took on West Brom behind closed doors at Old Trafford in two games, losing the first 2-1 and winning the other 3-1.
According to the Daily Star, Bruno Fernandes scored a penalty in the opening match, and it is reported that our Portuguese Magnifico started alongside Paul Pogba in a strong central midfield.
Ole Gunner Solskjaer has a selection headache in midfield ahead of next week’s league clash against Tottenham Hotspur, with José Mourinho hoping a win can keep their top four hopes alive but the Norwegian will be doing his utmost to upset the former United manager.
The Daily Star add that in the second game against the Baggies, Andreas Pereira netted a brace whilst Tahith Chong added the third.
It is also suggested that some of United’s players featured in both games.
Squad for first match: Nathan Bishop, Sergio Romero, Diogo Dalot, Teden Mengi, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly, Brandon Williams, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Angel Gomes, Pogba, Fernandes, Nemanja Matic, Daniel James, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.
Then, in the second match, the following featured: David de Gea, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Scott McTominay, A. Pereira, Jesse Lingard, Tahith Chong, James Garner and Odion Ighalo.
It’s a good way for all of the players to come to terms with what match day will entail when the 2019-20 Premier League campaign restarts. The matches are going to feel like training sessions – and it may be key to start games strongly and playing on the front foot.
United had a friendly scheduled against Stoke City on Tuesday but was cancelled after test results showed that manager Michael O’Neill had tested positive for COVID-19, as reported by BBC Sport. That was a near miss but we hope the former Northern Ireland boss will be alright.