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Erik ten Hag will manage Man United for the first time on Tuesday, with the 20-time English champions beginning their pre-season with a glamour friendly against bitter rivals Liverpool; the club have six games in the diary before the start of their Premier League season against Brighton, and it will be fascinating to see how the Red Devils perform in 2022-23 under the leadership of the highly-rated Dutchman.
Man United ended last season without a trophy, and finished sixth in the Premier League table, so they will play in the Europa League this term, which is thought to be the main reason why Cristiano Ronaldo is so keen to depart; Ronaldo is not with the squad in Thailand due to a personal issue, but there is a chance that he could feature in the Australia leg of the tour.
The Red Devils will take on Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa in their three matches after this one before returning to Europe to face Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano in back-to-back days, with their opening league game of the 2022-23 campaign coming one week later.
The 20-time English champions continue to be linked with a number of players, but there has only been one signing thus far, with Tyrell Malacia arriving from Feyenoord; the Netherlands international could make his debut in this match and certainly looks to be a smart acquisition by the club.
Ten Hag has it all to do at Man United, with the club currently going through a very difficult period, but last season was so disappointing that surely there will be improvement this term, and with more new signings thought to be imminent, there are reasons to be positive despite their ongoing issues.
Man United have taken a 31-man squad to Thailand, with Ronaldo the notable absentee, but Malacia has been included, and the new signing is likely to play a part on Tuesday.
Anthony Martial will allegedly be given the chance to prove himself down the middle during pre-season, so the Frenchman could start in a front three with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford.
Donny van de Beek – back at the club following a loan spell at Everton – could also be in from the start, while Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane are likely to feature in the middle of the defence.
A number of talented youngsters have made the trip to Thailand, including Alejandro Garnacho, Hannibal Mejbri and Facundo Pellistri, and Ten Hag could decide to select different XIs for each half of this contest.
As for Liverpool, Klopp has named a 37-man squad, so there will also be wholesale changes for the Reds during the course of this match and over the next few games.
Like Man United, the Reds are likely to start with an experienced side, with Mohamed Salah – fresh from signing a new contract at the club – potentially lining up alongside Diogo Jota and Roberto Firmino in attack.
Nunez’s debut could come from the bench, while a familiar midfield three of Jordan Henderson, Thiago and Naby Keita might take to the field for the first whistle.
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be among those hoping to impress during pre-season, while youngsters Stefan Bajcetic, Isaac Mabaya, Bobby Clark, Tom Hill, James Norris, Melkamu Frauendorf and Tyler Morton could earn minutes during the match with Ten Hag’s side.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Van de Beek, Fernandes, Fred; Sancho, Martial, Rashford
Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Thiago, Keita; Jota, Firmino, Salah