Fixtures

Maguire out, Zidane and Malacia In – How Manchester United should line up vs Crystal Palace in pre-season friendly

Erik ten Hag takes charge of Manchester United against Crystal Palace in Melbourne on Tuesday.

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Manchester United plays Crystal Palace in Australia for the third time in preseason on Tuesday.

Erik ten Hag has had a fantastic start to life as Manchester United manager, with his techniques already having an impact on his new players after winning their first two games under his guidance. A 4-0 win over Liverpool in Thailand was followed by a 4-1 victory over Melbourne Victory.

United face Palace, the team that beat them on the final day of last season’s disastrous season, as they try to complete a hat-trick of triumphs. Ten Hag could benefit from some returning players for the game.

James Garner, a young midfielder, was expecting to make an impression on tour but has been hindered by an injury that has forced him to miss the first two games. He is now fully recovered and expected to start against the Eagles. David de Gea and Raphael Varane will also be aiming to play after missing the last game.

Although Ten Hag has practically stated that Harry Maguire would start, he is not the third-best center-back available on this tour. Raphael Varane is a better defender, as is Eric Bailly when he is at his best, which is seldom. Varane and Bailly would form a more complete team.

Garner needs a half at the very least and could complement Fred, who can have some fun in the future. Diogo Dalot will have to back up Jadon Sancho again, and Marcus Rashford should be called up.

Ten Hag has fielded a good team in both pre-season friendlies so far, and it’s evident that he plans to use these games to get his strongest XI to gel on the field. This time, the team that starts the game may be able to accumulate more than 60 minutes.

De Gea should be able to return to goal, while Dalot and Shaw should remain in full-back roles. So far, they’ve both looked sharp. Maguire, if fit enough, should start again alongside Varane.

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