Manchester United vs Real Salt Lake Preview: José Mourinho’s men aim to extend winning start to pre-season

The Red Devils were convincing 5-2 winners against LA Galaxy on Sunday and will hope to carry that form into Tuesday’s clash against RSL

Manchester United vs Real Salt Lake Preview: José Mourinho’s men aim to extend winning start to pre-season
United train prior to their second friendly fixture of the summer | Photo: John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images

Manchester United will face Real Salt Lake on Tuesday as they continue their summer preparations for the new Premier League season, commencing next month.

In what will be their second of five matches while on tour in the US, before taking in further games in Oslo and Dublin, the Red Devils will be hoping to be pick up where they left off from their first pre-season outing having beaten LA Galaxy 5-2.

Both sides fresh from convincing Galaxy win

José Mourinho’s men will enter the contest fully expecting to win, despite being up against an opponent already more than halfway through it’s own league campaign in the MLS, but at the same time shouldn’t be too concerned by the final result.

In fact, United fans can probably expect to see more heavy rotation between players in the game as Mourinho aims to build up the fitness levels of all members of his squad. The 54-year-old manager fielded entirely different line-ups for each half of the encounter with the Galaxy, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see that again here.

Whoever does line up against RSL, though, United might face a slightly trickier outfit. Like the Red Devils, Mike Petke’s team enter this game fresh from a comfortable win over LA Galaxy, although the MLS outfit recorded a superior 6-2 scoreline in what was a competitive league game, just two weeks ago.

However, the eighth-placed side in the MLS Western Conference could well treat this just as much as a friendly as United – they are back in league action against Portland Timbers just two days after this fixture.

United and RSL to experiment

Despite that, there’s no doubt that United’s opponents will arrive into this game full of confidence after such a great victory. And speaking to the Salt Lake Tribune, coach Petke admitted as much, saying that despite the break he hadn’t seen “a dip in mentality, form, or anything" from his players.

It was suggested that RSL may try to deploy their full-backs in a more attacking style against the Red Devils

Likewise, Mourinho has hinted that he could deploy strikers Romelu Lukaku and Marcus Rashford alongside one another in the centre of attack, so perhaps that’s something to look out for from the Red Devils.

However, the United manager also told the club’s official website that he would not “repeat in the next match” the back three which he deployed against LA Galaxy, explaining that he would instead “play with four at the back.” In that case, it’ll be interesting to see which formation is selected, especially if Lukaku and Rashford do line up together.

Only four players, excluding those injured, played fewer than 45 minutes against the Galaxy, so it’s possible that we could see more of Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Demetri Mitchell, as well as total absentees from the last outing – Sergio Romero and Scott McTominay.

Team news

Of those on tour, United’s injured players – Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young – remain unavailable for this fixture.

RSL, meanwhile, are without midfielder Brooks Lennon, forward Ricardo Velazco and goalkeeper Matt Van Oekel.

But even with that in mind, it remains anyone's guess how either side will line up. Even so, United will be confident of gaining another comfortable win against RSL.


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