Manchester United Play West Bromwich Albion in Two Friendlies
Return Preparations for Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion
Promotion chasers West Brom visited an empty Theatre of Dreams on Friday afternoon, picking up the win in one of the two games.
The friendlies were arranged as both clubs look to adequately prepare for the football season to restart, having been brought to a halt by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Red Devils originally organised a friendly with Stoke City earlier in the week. However, Michael O’Neill’s side were unable to go ahead with that game after the Stoke boss received a positive result for COVID-19. Instead, United went ahead with an internal friendly and planned two matches with the Baggies.
Two Different Results
The games produced two different results, both with very little significance. West Brom won the first game 2-1, with Bruno Fernandes scoring United’s goal from the penalty spot. In the second game, United managed to take the win, 3-1. Andreas Pereira scored twice, with Dutch youngster Tahith Chong also on the scoresheet.
The games provided an opportunity for both sides to build match-fitness and prepare for some important fixtures when football returns. The players were also able to gauge the atmosphere, or lack of it, whilst playing in an empty arena – something they will become used to over the coming months.
Who Played for Manchester United?
The games were both 90 minutes long. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer offered little clues into his first 11 for the return fixture against Tottenham Hotspur, as United lined-up with two mixed sides, according to the club website. It is suggested that a lot of players were given the opportunity of getting on the pitch, as expected. Some players even featured in both games.
Safety Measures in Place
United players arrived at different times in full kit to avoid using the changing rooms. Other changes included the balls being disinfected and water breaks were held during the game. Players also didn’t eat at the stadium, instead taking pre-prepared food home, with the club taking measures to ensure a safe environment.
Supporter Campaign and Upcoming Fixtures
Away from the friendly, United have announced that fans may have their pictures on a mosaic that will be displayed at Old Trafford when they’re back in action.
The Red Devils will return on June 19, visiting the Tottenham Hotspur stadium, to face former boss Jose Mourinho. Hoping to gain a Champions League spot, they will then host Sheffield United at Old Trafford on the 24th, with a trip to Norwich City in the FA Cup quarter-finals later that week. They close the month with a trip to Brighton & Hove Albion.
West Brom will hope the friendlies have helped them prepare for a good run on their promotion pursuit. They return against local rivals Birmingham City on June 20, followed by a trip to Brentford’s Griffin Park.