Home » Manchester United vs Wrexham: 3 things to watch out for in showpiece event against Hollywood side

Manchester United vs Wrexham: 3 things to watch out for in showpiece event against Hollywood side

by Vatsal Gupta

Generally, a fixture against a League Two side would be nothing but a footnote in Manchester United’s pre-season preparations. However, Wrexham are anything but an ordinary League Two side so the game at Snapdragon Stadium on July 26, 3.30 AM BST is set to be a marquee affair.

Unlike United, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s side have played only two pre-season fixtures, a loss against Chelsea and a comprehensive win against Los Angeles Galaxy’s 2nd team.

With so many unknowns regarding the quality gap between the two sides, it promises to be an exciting clash with multiple storylines at play.

Here are the top three things to watch out for in this one-

Ona(Na) or (Yes)?

Erik ten Hag swerved everyone when new signing Andre Onana didn’t take the field against Arsenal as everyone was expecting prior to the game.

However, now with almost a week of training under his belt, it would be a massive surprise if he didn’t start this game.

For a goalkeeper, it is crucial to get into a rhythm of communication with his centre-back pairing and three games in, Onana is already a bit behind in that regard.

Expect the Cameroonian to make his first appearance for United against Wrexham as he will look to show off his skills against the League Two team in a slightly relaxed atmosphere.

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him play the whole 90 as Matej Kovar hasn’t made the trip to the USA in anticipation of a move and Tom Heaton played against Arsenal.

Good things come to those who wait, and no debut has been awaited with more excitement than Onana’s.

Wonderkid XI or big boys?

As famous as Wrexham are now courtesy of their Hollywood owners, the reality of the squad on paper is that of a team that will play in England’s fourth division this season for the first time in 15 years.

Therefore, fans can be forgiven for thinking that Ten Hag will test his youngsters against a team of seasoned professionals to see if they can rise to the challenge.

And they would be right. 15 additional youngsters have been flown in for the game in what is expected to be a youthful lineup. 

With a game against Real Madrid the following day, this one against Wrexham is expected to be a great experience for the youngsters to play in front of the biggest crowd so far in their careers.

Travis Binnion will take charge of this match as the seniors prepare for the marquee fixture against Los Blancos.

In an audition in front of such a large crowd, the youngsters will be driven to put their best foot forward so that the next time such a fixture happens, they are instead part of the team playing the following day against the more illustrious opponents.

Marquee appearance watch

The reason why this game is happening isn’t lost on anyone. Wrexham playing the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United in the pre-season in the USA isn’t a prospect that would have been entertained had their owners not been Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

A tour to the USA is always as much in the news for off-field happenings around the fixtures as it is for what happens during the game.

Julia Roberts recently met the United team in the States in what would have been a huge blow to Pep Guardiola! Similarly, for Wrexham, it doesn’t get much bigger than United.

Expect the owners to turn up in the stands with their celebrity friends and the cameras to pan to their faces after every big moment in the game.

This is a showpiece fixture in the truest sense of the word and the same is likely to be reflected in the appearance of marquee stars at the game.

Besides these three, there are other things to watch out for as well.

United fans will be looking forward to watching Dan Gore, who has taken this pre-season by the scruff of its neck to force his way into first-team contention.

Finally, the continuation of the “Jadon Sancho as the False 9” experiment is sure to be watched carefully by tactics enthusiasts.

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