After a jam-packed month, Sydney’s ANZ Stadium will play host to one of the biggest football matches Australia has ever seen as Manchester United face the A-League All-Stars. Join us for live scores and commentary from 7.30pm AEST.
Since the confirmed announcement on May 31st, Australian football fans have eagerly awaited the arrival of the Red Devils since their last visit 14 years ago, which coincided with a two-match tour against the Australian national team.
The A-League All-Stars side, coached by Ange Postecoglou, had aimed to represent the best of the A-League with the team being preselected by the fans.
However due to the EAFF East Asia Cup, club commitments and off-season fitness the vast majority of the original 35 selected have become unavailable.
Despite the loss of big name players such as Alessandro Del Piero, Shinji Ono, Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan, the A-League All-Stars side has still been represented very well.
The A-League All Stars are not alone in having lost some of their best players either.
Manchester’s Wayne Rooney had to venture back home after injuring himself in training – this may have to do with the circling rumours of his departure from Old Trafford, despite David Moyes’ wishes to keep England international.
Moyes’ side will welcome the return of stars Robin van Persie and David de Gea to the fold, the two having missed United’s 1-0 loss to Singha All-Stars last weekend.
All Stars inaugural captain Brett Emerton says the team isn’t nervous despite facing one of the most recognisable footballing teams in the world. He believes the pressure is on Manchester United as the post Sir Alex Ferguson era begins.
David Moyes, on the other hand, does not feel the pressure and is keen to give every player some game time with van Persie most likely to come on in the second half.
With a sold out stadium and a world class football team on Australian shores, this match is set-up to be a cracker. It’ll be a highly entertaining contest with a key focus to produce quality football.
While Manchester United are preparing for another English Premier League season and looking to expose their brand throughout Asia, the A-League All-Stars will be keen to show Australian football followers how far the development of the A-League has come in eight seasons.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 A-League All-Stars