Amazulu - Manchester United Preview: Red Devils set to hand debuts to Kagawa and Blackett in friendly clash
The Premier League runners-up start off their pre-season schedule with a trip to Durban to face the South African outfit, who finished seventh in the country's top tier in 2011-12
By Andrew Kennedy
Teysie, Van Heerden, Nyadombo, Bukasa
Zhuwawo, Johnson, Mbhele, Senamele
A. Dlamini, G. Dlamini
Vermijl, Ferdinand, Wootton, Brady
Valencia, Kagawa, Powell
Manchester United kick-off their South African tour on Wednesday night against Amazulu, and Sir Alex Ferguson is likely to field a mixture of youth and first-team experience in the friendly clash in Durban.
Olympic duty has ruled out goalkeeper David de Gea and full-back Rafael, while centre-backs Chris Smalling, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans are all still recovering from injury.
Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick, Paul Scholes and Antonio Valencia are all likely to start, but the Red Devils could also field young defenders Marnick Vermijl and Scott Wootton, while a start should come for Robbie Brady at left-back alongside the potential debuts of Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell.
The hosts will likely field a strong line-up with the new Premier Soccer League season kicking off next month, and may hand a debut to new midfield signing Dulee Johnson at the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- This is Manchester United’s fourth pre-season tour of South Africa, with their last visit coming in 2006 when they took on Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
- The Red Devils take on neither side this time round, instead facing Ajax Cape Town in their final game on the continent before heading east to take on Didier Drogba’s Shanghai Shenhua.
- Manchester United’s 22-man squad for the three-game tour contains just four regular starters from last season.
- The clash takes place on 'Mandela Day', where people are asked to give 67 minutes of their time to a charity or the local community in celebration of his 94th birthday.
- Amazulu are managed by Swedish coach Roger Palmgren, who, other than a brief spell in charge of his local club Vasalunds IF in Stockholm, has spent much of his career in Africa.
- The club finished seventh in the Premier Soccer League last season, and kick off their new campaign against Kaizer Chiefs.
- Amazulu FC was formed in 1932 by Durban migrant workers, and were previously known as the 'Zulu Royals'.
- The Moses Mabhida Stadium (pictured right) originally had a capacity of 62,760 for its use during the 2010 World Cup, but has now been reduced to 54,000.
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Top 3 Predictions
Amazulu FC 0-8 Man Utd.
- 19.67 %
Amazulu FC 0-4 Man Utd.
- 10.26 %
Amazulu FC 0-3 Man Utd.
- 9.43 %
|Club Friendlies (FR)||Jul 18, 2012||Amazulu FC 0 - Man Utd. 1|
|Nov 30, 2013||Pretoria University FC 2 - Amazulu FC 0||PLS|
|Nov 27, 2013||Amazulu FC 2 - Platinum Stars FC 0||PLS|
|Nov 24, 2013||Free State Stars FC 1 - Amazulu FC 1||PLS|
|Nov 10, 2013||Amazulu FC 1 - Bloemfontein Celtic FC 1||PLS|
|Nov 6, 2013||Polokwane City 1 - Amazulu FC 1||PLS|
|32||Piet Tsweu Mokoro||Midfielder|
|8||Mark Van Heerden||Defender|
|11||Ayanda Phelelani Dlamini||Striker|
|13||Kagiso Thabiso Senamela||Midfielder|
|3||Goodman Sthembiso Dlamini||Midfielder|
|29||Stanley Matwafawe Kgatla||Midfielder|
|14||Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez||Striker|
And with the Red Devils missing a number of key players and still oiling the wheels following the summer break, I expect the sides to play out a 1-1 draw.