Saturday 21st July 2012 kick off 14.00pm (BST)
By Sean McGuire
After a relatively inexperienced United side did Sir Alex Ferguson proud in Durban on Wednesday night, the kids will get another chance to impress the boss against Ajax Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
With many of the Reds’ first team regulars yet to join the pre-season tour, United’s youngsters have been given a bonus shot at proving their worth, with the new season fast approaching.
The last match saw United’s rookie defence, which included Wootton, Brady, Veseli, Blackett and Vermijl keep a clean sheet, Federico Macheda bagged a goal and Sir Alex Ferguson singled-out winger Jessy Lingard for special praise.
We also saw miles on the clock for Scholes, Carrick, Ferdinand and Hernandez which could prove vital in giving them a head-start on fitness for the upcoming campaign.
The MTN invitational tour will continue to have a celebratory feel about it on Saturday in the wake of United’s last match on Mandela Day. The city of Cape Town is attempting to break a Guinness World Record for number of people singing collectively in one place. They plan on doing this by getting everyone in the stadium to sing “Happy Birthday” to Nelson Mandela, who will be celebrating his 94th birthday.
Sir Alex Ferguson will have the same squad to choose from in Cape Town as he did in Durban, however the boss is likely to rotate his players in order to help them achieve match fitness.
The Reds are still resting their World Cup players Rooney, Young, Jones, Welbeck, Evra and Nani. Olympians Ryan Giggs, Tom Cleverley, Rafael and David De Gea are also unavailable, as are under 19 players Keane and Thorpe.
United may rotate the goalkeepers to give Ben Amos or Ben Johnstone a game between the sticks. The Red’s are likely to shuffle their back four with Tyler Blackett starting on the left and Marnick Vermijl starting at right-back. Ferdinand and Wootton may resume at centre-back with Brady and Veseli on standby. Vidic, Evans and Smalling are still unavailable.
United’s midfield could see starts for Ryan Tunnicliffe and Davide Petrucci after Scholes and Carrick started the last game in Durban. Shinji Kagawa, who came on as a late substitute in the last match, will start in Cape Town and he could play on either wing or just behind the striker. The Reds other new signing Nick Powell could feature at some point, as could Lingard, Anderson and Bebe. Fletcher is still unavailable through illness.
Fergie my use Berbatov as a substitute in this match after the Bulgarian played the full 90 minutes against Amazulu during the week. This could mean that Wednesday’s goal-scorer Macheda will start along side Javier Hernandez if United play 4-4-2. Alternatively, either one could play as a lone striker with Shinji Kagawa slotting in just behind them.
The last match saw United make six substitutions and Sir Alex Ferguson may look to do the same again in Cape Town to ensure all of his players get miles on the clock.
Ajax Cape Town: (from) Westerveld, Petim, Roberts, Peters, Evans, Lolo, Allie, Hlatswayo, Jenniker, Getse, Wolff, Booth, Maluleka, Scott, Mokeke, Billiat, Vilakazi, Shabalala, Manyame, Carelse, Shumana, Alexander, Shelembe, Julius, Losper, Rusike, Fanteni, Van Graan, Akpabio.
Manager: Maarten Stekelenburg
Manchester United: (from) Lindegaard, Amos, Johnstone, Ferdinand, Veseli, Vermijl, Wootton, Blackett; Valencia, Anderson, Carrick, Scholes, Powell, Kagawa, Bebe, Tunnicliffe, Lingard, Brady, Petrucci, Berbatov, Chicharito, Macheda.
Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson
Ground: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
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