World Football

Manchester United vs. Kitchee FC: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

OSAKA, JAPAN - JULY 26:  Rio Ferdinando of Manchester United cerebrates after Shinji Kagawa's goal during the pre-season friendly match between Cerezo Osaka and Manchester United at Nagai Stadium on July 26, 2013 in Osaka, Japan.  (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)
Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2013

Manchester United haven't exactly impressed in their four preseason games thus far, winning just one while losing two and drawing another. And the club has outscored its four opponents by a pretty small margin of nine goals to seven.

With a new manager and several Premier League contenders seriously improving this summer, the team's early struggles have fans feeling a bit uneasy. The club will hope to rectify those concerns with its final match of this current tour against Kitchee FC.

Let's break down this contest. 

 

When: Monday, July 29 at 8 a.m. ET (1 p.m. BST)

Where: Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong

Watch: FOX Soccer

Streaming: FOX Soccer 2Go; MUTV

 

What They're Saying

United will come into this game slightly off their training schedule, as torrential downpours forced the club to cancel a training session on Sunday. 

From Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail:

United meet local club Kitchee FC on Monday night and did not want to further damage the playing surface or risk any injuries to their players.

Manager David Moyes and his backroom staff arrived at the stadium midway through today’s game between Tottenham and South China and confirmed their decision to call off the session that would have been open to the public.

Moyes admitted that he had serious reservations about the pitch on Friday. A statement from the event organisers read: 'Manchester United, Kitchee and the Hong Kong Football Association have reluctantly made the decision to cancel the open training session, planned for Sunday evening at the Hong Kong Stadium.

'The pitch has suffered from torrential rainfall in the last week, as well as staging a number of games in a very short space of time.'

 

What To Watch For

Can United actually win a second game on the Asian tour? That's certainly something to watch for, as the team has lost twice, drawn once and only managed the solitary wincertainly not the warm-up the Red Devils were expecting. 

Can the defense pull together? In four games, United have given up seven goals, which is about seven more than fans would have expected against the Singha All-Star XI, A-League All Stars, Yokohama F. Marinos and Cerezo Osaka. 

The defense looked shaky at times early last season, so while preseason games have to be taken in context, United fans may be watching the early performances from the back four with a bit of unease. 

Oh, and all eyes will probably be on the player listed below, as well. 

 

Key Player: Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United

With the very real possibility that Wayne Rooney will be sold this summer, Shinji Kagawa could find himself operating in the second-striker role for United in the space behind Robin van Persie. 

Pretty big shoes to fill, huh?

Thus, Kagawa's every move this preseason will be dissected, analyzed and fretted over. He's a talented player, no doubt, and he belongs in a central role, but the possibility of settling into Rooney's old role is a big deal. This summer, Kagawa will at least give some indication of whether he's up to the task. 

 

Prediction

United have really struggled this summer—all the more worrying since no major transfers have come in and Moyes has the burden of replacing a legend in Sir Alex Ferguson—so predicting a win isn't such a home run prospect at this point. 

Still, it's pretty hard to predict United will lose to Kitchee FC, too.

The Red Devils squeak out a victory, 2-1. 

 

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