Two of the world's most popular football clubs will do battle on Saturday, as Real Madrid and Manchester United meet for their final match in the group stages of the 2014 Guinness International Champions Cup.
Ann Arbor's Michigan Stadium (also known as the Big House) will be the venue for this massive clash, and with 109,000 seats available for fans, Saturday's fixture will truly be a special moment in football history in America.
Home of the Michigan Wolverines, this is what Michigan Stadium looks like on game day, per Football_Tweet:
The ICC may just be a friendly pre-season tournament, but with so much world-class talent gracing the pitch of one the largest sports stadiums in the world on Saturday, this fixture won't have the feel of your traditional pre-season run out.
Date: Saturday, August 2
Time: 9.06 p.m. BST/4:06 p.m. ET
Venue: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor
TV info and live stream: The match will be broadcast on ESPN Deportes (for US viewers) and Manchester United TV (for UK viewers), with mobile coverage available via Fox Soccer 2Go.
Form Guide, Preview
Neither club has been perfect during the 2014 ICC so far, but as the tournament is little more than a collection of pre-season friendlies, the managers can hardly be blamed for that.
The summer of 2014 was one of turnover for both clubs, and Louis van Gaal's impact on the Red Devils has been very noticeable. The Dutchman wasted no time putting his stamp on the squad, and United already look much improved compared to last season, particularly on the defensive side.
Real Madrid have allowed their stars to return to the pitch at their own pace, and they won't look at how the tournament has played out as a reason for panic. Los Blancos are the reigning Champions League winners, after all.
Real can no longer make the final of the tournament, while the Red Devils are in pole position for the win in Group A. A draw would do the trick, and with the Spanish side likely to keep their stars fresh for the upcoming Spanish Supercup, United will like their chances.
Cristiano Ronaldo joined his teammates in training this week but is yet to play a minute of meaningful action, and fans are understandably hoping he'll make his return to the pitch against former club United, per the Daily Mail's Rajvir Rai.
The Supercup will be a priority for Los Blancos, however, and given Ronaldo's struggles with injury during the latter stages of last season, fans shouldn't get their hopes up too much.
Van Gaal told the Red Devils' official website he's relishing the chance to prove what his team can do against the top clubs in world football:
We played against AS Roma, who were second in the Italian league, then against Inter Milan, who were fifth in the Italian league Now we play Real Madrid and it is nice to play against such teams, so you can show you are at least equal.
Youngster Luke Shaw looked very impressive against Inter Milan, but after the match, he conceded his fitness still needs to improve ahead of the upcoming season:
The chance to prove himself against the mighty Real Madrid is one he's very excited about, per the club's official website:
I'm really looking forward to it. Considering it's a pre-season tour, the teams we are playing against are unbelievable. Roma and Inter are both big teams but I think the one everyone has been looking forward to is Real Madrid.
Saturday's match won't be an easy one for either side, but the Mancunians should be the more motivated squad with an eye on the spot in the ICC final.
Los Blancos have no reason to chase a result against the Red Devils, apart from bragging rights, and while they'll no doubt wish to give the 109,000 fans quite the show, their top players will be saved for the more important double-header against Atletico Madrid later this month.
Much will depend on the result of the earlier match between Inter and AS Roma, and if said result is beneficial for the Red Devils, the latter fixture could be little more than a showpiece for the fans in Michigan.
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