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ICC Tournament: Manchester United vs. AC Milan Preview: Don’t Bodge It



Everyone knows that these summer friendlies mean nothing. However, as pointed out in the Benfica review and the last podcast, there is a bit of pride on the line here. With a reasonable draw or a win in this match, Milan will not be dead last in the tournament. More importantly, though, fans want to see continuing improvement in Milan’s play. This is a great opportunity to make a good showing and feature Giampaolo’s new tactics and ideas. So please don’t bodge it.

Piatek will be hungry to score his first summer goal

Manchester United are eight days away from their season opener against Chelsea. They have been training longer and have played more friendlies, including friendlies against Australian side Perth Glory, Championship side Leeds United, and Norwegian side Kristiansund. In the ICC, they also beat Inter 1-0 and Tottenham 2-1. Milan will be their final test before their season kicks off.

For our friendly in Cardiff, Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has called up goalkeepers David De Gea, Sergio Romero and Lee Grant; defenders Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Ashley Young; midfielders Fred, Angel Gomes, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira and Paul Pogba; and forwards Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford. Notably missing from the squad traveling to Wales are Romelu Lokaku and Matteo Darmian, both heavily linked with moves away from the club.

You gotta respect any team that beats Inter, especially in those hideous butter mint kits

Giampaolo has travelled with goalkeepers Antonio Donnarumma, Gigio Donnarumma, and Reina; defenders Calabria, Conti, Gabbia, Musacchio, Rodriguez, Romagnoli and Strinic; midfielders Biglia, Bonaventura, Brescianini, Çalhanoglu and Krunic; forwards Mionic, André Silva, Borini, Castillejo, Maldini, Suso and Piatek. Paquetá is staying behind for a personal training program, having only arrived back at Milanello this week. Silva is with the squad despite being expected to leave. New signing Rafael Leao is travelling with the team, although not called up for the match, and Bonaventura is actually called up, though unexpected to play. Laxalt is not called up, possibly due to a transfer away from the club. Hernandez and Caldara are still injured and will also not feature.

Our newest forward will travel with the team, but was not called up

Milan have faced Manchester United many times before in friendlies, and in our past life in the Champions League, as well. Last year’s friendly here in Los Angeles ended in a draw and had to go to penalties, which saw 17 penalties taken. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again, no one wants to see that.

For this match, most Milan fans would be content with a decent performance against a stronger team that is better prepared. But wouldn’t it be great to come away with even a point? Just for pride’s sake, not to be dead last in this year’s tournament? That may be too much to ask for, but we can all hope. And hope for improving football, too. I guess the very lowest expectation would be for us not to fall flat on our faces in Cardiff. Please, Milan… don’t bodge it.


This post inspired by the music of Interpol’s “Fine Mess”


International Champions Cup
Manchester United vs. AC Milan
Saturday, August 3 • 5:30pm BST (12:30pm EDT)
This match will be televised LIVE on ESPN2 in the U.S.