Manchester United’s transfer window so far has been underwhelming and it is for that reason that Jose Mourinho has appeared so pessimistic and downbeat in his media appearances as he looks to add to the signings of Fred, Diogo Dalot and Lee Grant. As it stands his squad is unlikely to have the requisite quality or experience to challenge Manchester City for the title, with the Portuguese aiming to add at least two more names before the 9th August deadline.
Their two pre-season friendlies – draws against Club América and San Jose Earthquakes – in the United States have been uninspiring, and the quality of opposition will go up a notch as United enter the International Champions Cup. Their opening game is against Milan on Thursday morning at the Rose Bowl stadium in California and the Red Devils may be able to call upon Nemanja Matic, who has returned to training after a break following this summer’s World Cup – the Serbian was one of Mourinho’s most consistent players in his first season after joining from Chelsea.
Having just scored once in their two matches so far, though, Mourinho will need some big performances from Anthony Martial and Alexis Sanchez if they are to start winning games and boosting enthusiasm ahead of the new campaign.
Milan, recently re-instated to the Europa League after their ban was not upheld, will offer decent opposition. The vast majority of their squad did not feature in Russia and so Gennaro Gattuso has a full complement to choose from. The Italians have not spent extensively this summer, however, with Nikola Kalinic the biggest piece of business at €20m – making his loan move from Fiorentina permanent.
When it comes to winning in both teams’ ICC opener, United have the odds in their favour at Tipbet.com. The Premier League club are 2.20 to get their maiden win of the pre-season tour as the teams clash for the first time since 2010. Given that their opponents have key players missing, though, Milan are 2.90 and should not be ruled out. There are plenty of other betting markets available, and half-time/full-time options are shown below.