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Match Preview: Kitchee FC vs Manchester United

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United play their last pre season tour game today when they take on hosts Kitchee FC at the Hong Kong stadium.

After the up and down tour so far in terms of results, United will be looking to sign off with a victory against the Hong Kong first division runners-up after managing only one victory on tour.

David Moyes’ team had to rely on an injury time goal from new boy Wilfried Zaha last time out to salvage a draw against Japanese outfit Cerezo Osaka in a game where United dominated for long spells but were let down by some poor finishing and sloppy defending.

‘I’m happy. I thought the team played well and i’m delighted we scored the late goal. I thought it was our best performance since we’ve been on tour.” David Moyes

Although United only drew, was quite happy with the performance of his team and labelled it as the best of the tour so far and he was effusive in his praise for Zaha. He said: “Wilfried has done well.

“He’s done well in the games. He’s quite quiet and still getting to know everybody. I think he’s performed well. He’s had an impact in the games.  He’s showed players he can make things happen.”

Rio Ferdinand shared his sentiments and has also spoken highly of Zaha. He said: “The thing that has most impressed me about Wilf is his raw ability, he can take someone on from a standing start.

“He’s quick and direct but what has surprised me more than anything is how quickly he gets his shots off. He’s a raw talent with great individual skills who can only get better.”

Zaha alongside other youngsters Ben Amos, Michael Keane, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj will all be hoping to finish the tour with some minutes against Kitchee FC and they just might get the chance as Moyes is expected to make the most of his squad once again.

Shinji Kagawa is unavailable as he has stayed in Japan for an extra weeks rest and the likes of Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick could be rested due to the poor condition of the Hong Kong pitch.

The pitch has hosted four games in as many days with the Premier League Asia Trophy having been played on it and along with the torrential rain the city has had, the pitch has suffered considerably. United even had to cancel an open training session on Sunday just to give the pitch a bit longer to recover.

”We’re used to playing on good surfaces but the weather has been terrible for a few days. There’s nothing people in Hong Kong could do about that. We’ll play – players have been brought up on all sorts of pitches. I hope it will be okay. The weather’s drying out and I hope the pitch will be fine. It will be the same for both teams.”  David Moyes

The tricky conditions haven’t dampened Moyes’ spirit though and he insists that his players will be able to adapt to them.

Keane hasn’t started a game on the tour yet so I hope to see Moyes give the 20-year-old his opportunity to impress but I don’t see him risking Carrick given the unpredictability of the pitch.

Unlike the two Japanese games, Kitchee won’t be as tough an opponent and it should allow United to express themselves a little bit more so I expect Moyes to field a young team who are still capable of pulling out a victory.

Predicted line-up – Amos, Fabio, Jones, Keane, Evra, Cleverley, Anderson, Young, Zaha, Januzaj, Van Persie

Predicted score – Kitchee FC 1-3  Manchester United

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