Match Preview: Cerezo Osaka vs Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United travelled to Osaka on the Bullet train on Wednesday as they look to shoot down Japanese outfit Cerezo Osaka at the Osaka Nagai Stadium on Friday.

After losing 3-2 to Yokohama F Marinos on Tuesday, David Moyes will be looking for a better showing as United continue their pre-season tour.

Although pre-season matches are aimed at raising players’ fitness levels rather than results, Moyes will be unhappy at how his players under-performed in Tuesday’s defeat and will expect an improvement.

Moyes revealed in his press conference today that he is likely to use most of his squad during the game due to the conditions. Speaking to reporters, Moyes said: “It’s very hot and the conditions are difficult for players from our country who are not used to training and playing in these conditions.

“I hope we’ll benefit from playing in these conditions when we get home. I think we may need to use all of our players tomorrow night to make sure they don’t use too much weight or fluid. I’m sure it will be very hot again.”

The United manager also revealed that both strikers Robin Van Persie and Danny Welbeck have shaken off little knocks picked up in the last game and both should feature Friday, although Michael Carrick is set to miss out again as he recovers from a small groin injury.

The Cerezo Osaka fans will be delighted to welcome back old boy Shinji Kagawa who started his professional career at Osaka back in 2006 before moving onto Dortmund four years later. Kagawa himself is looking forward to facing his old club.

“Tomorrow’s match is against the club that has set me out on the international arena,” he said.

“The fans and supporters are back here to see me play for my club and I want to perform with my utmost effort.”

United will be debuting their new away kit against Osaka on Friday. The shirt’s large black and midnight navy gingham checks represent Manchester’s proud industrial past when the check was produced in the city’s booming cotton mills in the 18th century.

With Moyes likely to command an improved performance from his players, United will come out a stronger side when they line-up tomorrow.

Like Yokohama, Osaka are in the middle of their domestic season and will be tough opponents but United have the calibre to overcome them to record their second win so far on the tour.

Predicted line up – De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Smalling, Buttner, Anderson, Giggs, Kagawa, Young, Januzaj, Van Persie

Predicted Result – Cerezo Osaka 1-3 Manchester United

Image: Flickr/Shatei

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