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Preview: Preston North End vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Preston North End vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Pre-Season Friendlies clash between Preston North End and Manchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Manchester United will continue their preparations for the start of the new Premier League campaign with a pre-season clash against Preston North End at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Devils are building towards their league opener at home to Leeds United on August 14, while Preston will start their Championship season against Hull City on August 7.

Match preview

Preston, who finished 13th in the Championship last season, have played a lot of football this summer, facing Bamber Bridge, St Johnstone, Celtic, Bolton Wanderers, Accrington Stanley and Manchester City.

The second-tier outfit will also be in action against Wigan Athletic on Friday night before taking on Man United on Saturday, as the club prepare for the start of their 2021-22 campaign.

Preston gave a strong account of themselves against Man City on July 27 but ultimately suffered a 2-0 defeat, with Riyad Mahrez and Sam Edozie on the scoresheet for the Premier League champions.

Frankie McAvoy's side will play twice more during pre-season - taking on Wigan and Man United - before opening their new campaign at home to Hull City on August 7.

The Lilywhites have not been overly busy this summer in terms of incomings, but Izzy Brown, Matthew Olosunde and Liam Lindsay have arrived to boost the squad.

Man United, meanwhile, continued their preparations for the new season with a 2-2 draw against Brentford at Old Trafford on Wednesday night. Anthony Elanga and Andreas Pereira both scored brilliant goals for the Red Devils, but Brentford twice came from behind to secure a share of the spoils.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side opened their pre-season with a 2-1 win over Derby County on July 18 before suffering a 4-2 defeat at Queens Park Rangers last weekend.

The Red Devils will now take on Preston and Everton in their final two friendlies of the summer before opening their 2021-22 Premier League campaign at home to Leeds United on August 14.

A deal for Jadon Sancho has been secured, while the club are expected to confirm the arrival of Raphael Varane next week, but at least one more major signing is expected at Old Trafford before the transfer window closes.

Solskjaer's squad is now starting to take shape, with a number of players returning to training following international duty, and it is vital that the 20-time English champions make a strong start to the new season, as they look to seriously challenge for the Premier League title in 2021-22.

Preston North End Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L

Manchester United Pre-Season Friendlies form:
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

Preston boss McAvoy could name close to the same XI that took to the field against Man City, although it is difficult to know exactly what to expect considering that the Championship outfit will face Wigan on Friday night before taking on Man United the next day.

Tom Barkhuizen and Sean Maguire could again feature in attacking positions for the Lilywhites, who have largely lined up in a 3-5-2 formation this summer.

McAvoy has suggested that he could even start the new Championship campaign in a 4-3-3, but it is expected to be a relatively defensive lineup against Man United, including another start for on-loan Liverpool youngster Sepp van den Berg.

As for Man United, Solskjaer is expected to have a very strong squad available for the clash with Everton next weekend, including Sancho and Varane, but a number of players will again be missing for this match.

Donny van de Beek and Diogo Dalot both featured against Brentford, though, and the Red Devils manager has suggested that the duo will be in the starting XI against Preston.

Bruno Fernandes has also returned to training, and there is a slight chance that the Portugal international could play a part off the bench on Saturday afternoon.

The likes of Paul Pogba, Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Edinson Cavani will still be absent, but Dean Henderson could be in the squad, while Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Mason Greenwood should all start once again.

Preston North End possible starting lineup:
Ripley; Van den Berg, Storey, Lindsay, Hughes, Earl; Whiteman, Ledson, Potts; Maguire, Barkhuizen

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Heaton; Dalot, Tuanzebe, Mengi, Williams; Matic, Van de Beek; Lingard, Mata, James; Greenwood

We say: Preston North End 1-2 Manchester United

Preston will provide competitive opposition for Man United, which is exactly what Solskjaer will want at this stage of pre-season. Both managers will be thinking about the start of their respective campaigns, and we are expecting a close match at Deepdale, with the Red Devils just about emerging victorious.

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