Manchester United’s build-up to the new Premier League season intensifies this Saturday, 7 August, when the Reds face Everton in the team’s final pre-season game.
The match at Old Trafford kicks off at 12: 45 BST, and will be played in front of the largest audience the Theatre of Dreams has seen since March 2020. A sell-out crowd of 55,000 fans will be in attendance, ahead of what is hoped to be a return to full capacity in the opening league fixture against Leeds on 14 August.
Given our previous scheduled pre-season test, away to Preston, was cancelled, Ole and the lads will be champing at the bit to get back onto the field, in a match that will be shown live on MUTV.
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YOUR GUIDE TO UNITED V EVERTON
It’s an intriguing time for our visitors, with Carlo Ancelotti having departed to rejoin Real Madrid and former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez appointed Everton boss. Due to his strong connection with their local rivals on the other side of Stanley Park, the Spaniard’s arrival has not been universally welcomed by the Toffees’ fans.
Everton finished 10th in the Premier League last season, when they were unable to build on their excellent away form – 11 wins achieved on the road compared to just six at home – and an impressive start, in which they won their first four matches.
They were beaten twice by United at Goodison – in the Carabao Cup, as well as in the league – but did manage to snatch a point from a thrilling 3-3 draw at Old Trafford in February, thanks to Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s late equaliser.
Perhaps with Calvert-Lewin’s aerial ability in mind, Everton have brought in two new wingers in the close season: Andros Townsend from Crystal Palace, and former Leicester City youngster Demarai Gray, who was signed from Bayer Leverkusen.
The Toffees are set to return to Old Trafford on 2 October, for the Premier League incarnation of the fixture, before we head to Goodison Park on 9 April 2022 for the return – those dates being subject to change of course.
More players are filtering back into the first-team squad all the time, as holidays come to an end for those Reds who featured in the latter stages of Euro 2020 and the Copa America.
Could we see one or two of the returning international heroes – notably new signing Jadon Sancho – against the Merseysiders? Stay tuned to ManUtd.com and the Official App, where we’re likely to hear more from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on that front in the coming days. Three Reds who definitely won’t be taking part are Marcus Rashford, who is to undergo shoulder surgery, Alex Telles (ankle injury) and Tahith Chong, who has now joined up with Birmingham City for his loan spell.