Manchester United to play Cerezo Osaka in pre-season friendly

The fixture adds to the Red Devils' summer tour of Asia, in which they have already scheduled a meeting with Shunsuke Nakamura's club Yokohama F. Marinos and a trip to Hong Kong
Manchester United have announced they will face Cerezo Osaka in their second pre-season friendly in Japan this summer.

The Premier League side will play at the Osaka Nagai Stadium on Friday July 26 as part of the tour that already includes a trip to Yokohama F. Marinos on July 23.

The club are expecting passionate support despite the distance from home, with over 4 million United followers in Japan and the added excitement of Shinji Kagawa's return to his homeland and former club.
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The Red Devils' chief executive David Gill was delighted to reveal the fixture and is sure the friendly will be a success.

"We first visited Japan more than 20 years ago and our fans have always shown great support for the club," he told their official website.

"We are all looking forward to returning and playing a great game against Cerezo Osaka, which will allow us to prepare for the 2013-14 season.

"The 2013 Tour, presented by Aon, will also allow the club to engage with our loyal Japanese fans, as well as work with our family of commercial partners."

Cerezo Osaka's president, Masao Okano, was also elated with the arrangement and stressed the Japanese club's honour to play host to United.

"We at Cerezo are proud to join the Yanmar Premium Cup," he added. "Our club and the city of Osaka is happy to bring this match with Manchester United to the fans in Osaka.

"We will promise to play our best for victory and to show the premium match to all the fans over the world."