At the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok tomorrow, Manchester United will play Liverpool.
Erik Ten Hag will get his first opportunity to evaluate his players’ performance once they put his instructions into practice at 2 p.m. BST.
Normal conditions might have led us to anticipate a heavily rotated side that included Charlie Savage and other academy alums.
However, we anticipate a strong lineup in front of 51,000 spectators and numerous cameras to prevent a recurrence of United’s 9-0 aggregate loss to the Merseyside club last season.
With Ronaldo away (on family reasons or otherwise), Ten Hag has little choice but to offer Anthony Martial a chance at redemption.
Behind him, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, and Jadon Sancho are – on paper – a strong group, with the former in particular having a lot to prove.
In midfield, Fred and Scott McTominay would probably offer too many groans for a first outing, so we have opted for Donny van de Beek, who will be looking to recapture his Ajax performances under Ten Hag at the earliest available opportunity.
At left-back, new signing Tyrell Malacia could face a “friendly” baptism of fire in his United debut.
He will certainly have the opportunity to show just why they call him “the pitbull” in such a fierce encounter.
Ten Hag typically favors a right-footer and a left-footer in his backline, but without that option we expect the ambipedal Raphael Varane to play to the left of Victor Lindelof – it may yet be too soon for Harry Maguire to have scrubbed last season off himself.
David de Gea in goal offers the best chance of keeping Liverpool’s score down, although Tom Heaton may get a rare run-out early in the preseason.
With plenty of motivation for the Red Devils coming into this match, the safest prediction is this: the match will not be friendly.