Yokohama F-Marinos vs. Manchester United: What to Look for in Preseason Friendly
Manchester United are preparing for their third preseason friendly of the summer as they get ready to take on Yokohama F-Marinos in Japan on Tuesday.
Their first game of the summer ended in a 1-0 defeat against a Singha All Star XI, before a 5-1 victory followed over an A-League All Stars side. United will hope for another good workout this time around as David Moyes continues preparing his new side for the season ahead.
Here's what to watch out for in the friendly fixture, played at the Nissan Stadium.
Adnan Januzaj and Other Youngsters
United have handed some early opportunities to some fringe players and youngsters this summer, and a few of them are looking to grab the chance to perform on the first-team scene.
Adnan Januzaj is one of those who impressed in the opening match, with Jesse Lingard also showing his talent as he scored twice.
Michael Keane was handed another run-out in the last match too, and the young stars will hope to be handed another chance to impress.
David Moyes has been pretty much a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-4-2 man in his time at Everton, but there is a good chance he could be tempted to branch out a little more at United with more quality players at his disposal.
Of course, he'll be somewhat guided by the players available, and United's own usual formation is not too dissimilar to this anyway.
Even so, slight changes in role or position to the wide attackers, or pairing two forwards centrally rather than playing one-off-one, can have significant impacts on how the team plays out the game. Friendlies are of course the best time for experimentation, so look out for any changes from Moyes.
Zaha Continues His Fledgling United Career
Despite an initial train of thought from fans and viewers that Wilfried Zaha could be allowed to head out on loan this season, he's already playing an integral part in United's summer.
The former Crystal Palace winger brings great pace and athletic ability to the side, as well as no shortage of talent on the ball, and he'll be looking to show he can immediately slot into the side at the beginning of the new campaign.
Competition for places will be fierce in the wide midfield roles once all United's players are fit and sharp again, so Zaha will be looking to have a big impact while he has the chance in preseason.
Looking over to Yokohama F-Marinos for a moment, their highest profile player is veteran midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura.
Previously of (briefly) Espanyol in Spain, Reggina in Italy and Celtic in Scotland, Nakamura was a well-known figure in Europe for most of the last decade and was noted for his innate ability from dead-ball situations.
Indeed, the former Japanese international, who won nearly a century of caps for his country, once scored a sublime, curling free kick against United while playing for Celtic in the UEFA Champions League.
Another Goal Haul
Despite a sluggish start to preseason where they lost 1-0 to Singha, United were back on form in attack to hit five goals in their next preseason game.
They'll be looking to add to that tally with a few goals against their Japanese opponents. They won't be easy prey by any means, but even with a mixed team of seniors and youngsters, the Premier League side should be too strong for Yokohama.
Expect United to pick up another victory and to fire a few goals in the process.