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Aug 3, 2019 at 5.36pm UK
Man UtdManchester United
AC Milan
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Preview: Manchester United vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Manchester United vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's pre-season clash between Manchester United and AC Milan, including team news and predicted lineups.
By , European Football Editor | 2mo

Manchester United will round off their preparations for the 2019-20 campaign with an International Champions Cup fixture against AC Milan in Cardiff on Saturday evening.

The match will bring to an end what has been a successful pre-season in terms of results, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side winning each of their five friendly matches this summer.

Manchester United

This is it for United - their final pre-season match ahead of welcoming Chelsea to Old Trafford on the opening weekend of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign. It has been a busy summer for the Red Devils in terms of travelling and volume of games, but Solskjaer will have been pleased with his side's performances thus far.

The 20-time English champions beat Perth Glory and Leeds United in their first two friendlies before Mason Greenwood scored late in a 1-0 win over Inter Milan. United then rounded off their pre-season tour with a 2-1 success against Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur on July 25.

The Red Devils were back on European soil to take on Kristiansund on Tuesday night, and a late Juan Mata penalty made it five wins from five. It is difficult to read too much into pre-season results, but 10 goals scored and just one conceded represents a strong summer for the club.

The performances have also been impressive with new signings Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka both making strong impressions. Youngsters Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong have also shown their quality, while Anthony Martial has been in good form through the middle.

Talk of a summer exit for Paul Pogba has quietened a touch in recent weeks, and the midfielder has been heavily involved in United's preparations for the new season. The same cannot be said for Romelu Lukaku, though, as the speculation surrounding the Belgium international continues to gather pace.

Juventus are said to have offered United Paulo Dybala in a swap for Lukaku, but the Argentina international is allegedly making Solskjaer's side wait for a decision. Harry Maguire is yet to arrive from Leicester City, although it would not be a surprise to see that deal go through before the August deadline.

As many as 27 different players have featured for United during pre-season, but with only one game remaining ahead of the new campaign, that will surely be scaled back this weekend. It will be another competitive game against strong opposition ahead of what is a huge clash with Chelsea on August 11.

Solskjaer's side have a tough start to the new season considering that they host Chelsea and then travel to Wolverhampton Wanderers in their first two. It is threatening to be a busy end to the transfer window for the club, though, and the fans will hope a couple more players are on board by next week.

Recent form: LWWWWW

AC Milan

Milan are behind United when it comes to their preparations for the new season, but the Italian giants will not open their 2019-20 Serie A campaign until the latter stages of August. Indeed, Saturday's clash will represent just Milan's fourth friendly of the summer, and they are yet to pick up a win.

Now managed by Marco Giampaolo following Gennaro Gattuso's exit, I Rossoneri started their pre-season with a 1-1 draw against Novara on July 19, before losing back-to-back International Champions Cup matches against Bayern Munich and Benfica over the last week.

The Italians only have one more confirmed friendly after the United clash, taking on Feronikeli of Kosovo on August 10. It will certainly be interesting to see how the team perform during the 2019-20 campaign, having managed a fifth-placed finish in Serie A last term.

Milan announced some big transfer news on Thursday, with the club securing the services of Rafael Leao from Lille. The 20-year-old had been linked with a number of clubs this summer, but Milan have won the race for the attacker, who scored eight times in 26 appearances for Lille last term.

It remains to be seen whether the Portugal Under-21 international features this weekend, but he has now followed Theo Hernandez and Rade Krunic in moving to San Siro ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

In terms of outgoings, Milan have seen 21-year-old forward Patrick Cutrone join Premier League side Wolves. It has been a relatively quiet window overall, but a lot could still happen before the Italian giants take to the field for their Serie A opener against Udinese.

Milan also locked horns with United during last year's International Champions Cup, and it was the English side that triumphed 9-8 on penalties following a 1-1 draw in California. What's more, the Red Devils have already faced Milan's great rivals Inter this summer.

It will certainly be a good test for Milan, who will be looking to prevent United from winning the International Champions Cup. Indeed, a victory by a margin of three goals or more would see the English giants land the trophy for a second time, having previously triumphed in 2014.

Recent form: WWWDLL

Team News

Eric Bailly is United's only confirmed absentee having undergone knee surgery, but Lukaku is unlikely to feature for the club as the speculation surrounding his future gathers pace.

Alexis Sanchez could make his first appearance of pre-season, although the attacker picked up an injury while representing Chile at the Copa America and will face a fitness test.

The team could be very similar to the one that will line up against Chelsea - Chris Smalling potentially being given the nod alongside Victor Lindelof in central defence, with Scott McTominay joining Pogba in midfield.

Martial and James could start wide in support of Marcus Rashford, while Mata could edge out the likes of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira to get the nod in the number 10 position.

As for Milan, Mattia Caldara is a long-term absentee with a knee problem, while summer arrival Hernandez will also miss out having picked up an ankle injury against Bayern.

As mentioned, new arrival Leao could feature for the Italians, although it seems more likely that the youngster will be on the bench if he does indeed make the squad.

Krzysztof Piatek scored 11 times in 21 appearances for Milan in the second half of last season, and the 24-year-old is expected to lead the line against Solskjaer's side this weekend.

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Martial, Mata, James; Rashford

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Borini, Biglia, Calhanoglu; Suso; Piatek, Castillejo

Head To Head

As mentioned, the two teams met in the International Champions Cup last summer, with United triumphing on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

The pair have not locked horns in a competitive game since March 2010, though, when United recorded a 4-0 home win over the Italians to breeze into the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

There have been 10 competitive meetings between United and Milan, and the duo have five wins each. The Serie A giants, though, have not overcome the Red Devils since May 2007.

We say: Manchester United 2-1 AC Milan

It should be an interesting game at the Principality Stadium with Solskjaer's focus now firmly on the Chelsea game rather than ensuring that all of his players are given minutes. Milan will provide tough opposition in Wales, but we fancy United to emerge victorious for their sixth straight pre-season win.

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