Manchester United vs Singha All-Stars
Saturday 13 July
2pm GMT kick-off (Live on MUTV)
55 days. When Manchester United kick-off their football season against Singha All-Stars in Bangkok, that is how long it would of been since Sir Alex Ferguson waved goodbye to the doting away end after a thrilling 5-5 draw against West Brom.
It already seems a lifetime away but Saturday will physically mark the end of Fergie time when David Moyes’ United kick-off at 2pm against Singha All-Stars to begin the 2013 tour.
United took a 19 man squad over to Bangkok that quickly became 18 after Wayne Rooney sustained a hamstring injury that ruled him out of the whole tour, meaning that Danny Welbeck is our only named striker in the squad given van Persie and Hernandez’s absence.
But it will be Wilfried Zaha who most fans are eager to see. The 20-year-old former Crystal Palace winger has come on the tour despite having only trained with the squad for two days beforehand and excitement has been building up to his debut.
His tricky feet and lightning pace tore Championship defences apart and up against a side made up from the Thai Premier League, he should be able to express himself fully.
As well as Zaha’s debut, United have the prospect of seeing Januzaj in action for the first time to whet their appetite too. The 18-year-old missed out on his senior debut at West Brom merely because of how crazy the game was but with unlimited substitutes, he’ll get some minutes.
Tomorrow will not be a game where we see Moyes’ tactics in full flow given that he only has one striker to choose from. It will be more a case of allowing the players to show the new boss what they can do in a match situation and I expect the majority of the 18 man squad to play a part on Saturday.
The Singha All-Star team will comprise of players from the Thai Premier League and will be coached by Dr. Vichit Yamboonruang, the director of the Thai Premier League.
As with any pre-season friendly, the local opposition will be hungry to try and beat United in what will be a huge occasion for them which should make it a competitive fixture for the team.
Don’t expect any fireworks from any United player in the first game. Expect to see a methodical approach to the game under the watchful eye of Moyes with not too many chances but I’d expect United to come out victorious with the players eager to impress Moyes.
Prediction: Singa All-Stars 1-2 Manchester United