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Match Preview: Yokohama F·Marinos vs Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United play their third game of this year’s pre-season tour tomorrow as they take on Japanese team Yokohama F Marinos in the Nissan Stadium.

The squad arrived in Japan on Sunday just 24 hours after comfortably beating the A-League All stars 5-1 in David Moyes’ first win as manager.

Moyes’ options for the Japan leg of the tour have been boosted by the arrivals of first-team trio Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and homeland hero Shinji Kagawa who flew in to Tokyo on Monday.

Jonny Evans and Alexander Buttner are fit again after missing out in United’s last match but Michael Carrick is a doubt with a groin injury.

Youngsters Jesse Lingard and Wilfried Zaha will be looking to retain their places in the United team after standing out against the A-League all stars and Adnan Januzaj could also be given a start after impressing in a late cameo.

United fans should recognise one of the home team’s key players as he has a very good record against United, scoring both home and away against them whilst at Celtic – free kick expert Shunsuke Nakamura, so United’s defenders will have to wary of giving away free kick’s around their own box.

The home fans will be desperate to see a glimpse of their hero Shinji Kagawa and Moyes has admitted that he should play some part in Tuesday’s match although it is likely to be from the bench.

Kagawa himself is looking forward to the game and is happy to be back in his native country. Speaking on Monday morning, the Japanese midfielder said: “I’m very happy to be a member of Manchester United and to be playing in Japan for them.

“I’m looking forward to meeting the fans tomorrow and I hope we have a very good game. I’d like to give them my very best.’

Tomorrow’s game should see United continue from their impressive 5-1 victory in Sydney and with a busy week ahead in Japan, I expect Moyes to keep ringing in the changes.

My predicted starting XI: De Gea, Rafael, Keane, Evans, Fabio, Jones, Cleverley, Anderson, Januzaj, Welbeck & Van Persie,

My predicted result: Yokohama F Marinos 1-3 Manchester United

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