Next up for Manchester United on their 2013 pre-season tour, after their 2-3 defeat by Yokohama F-Marinos on Tuesday, is a friendly against J-League side Cerezo Osaka, Shinji Kagawa's old club, at Osaka Nagai Stadium. The players will be wearing the new away kits, which were just unveiled today:
A plethora of players continue to be unavailable for selection on the tour: Nemanja Vidic, Nani, and Wayne Rooney aren't with the club due to injuries previously sustained while the likes of Javier Hernandez (Chicharito), Antonio Valencia, Guillermo Varela, and Angelo Henriquez aren't on tour either because they've been given extended rest after summer international duty. A few of those players, though, are back at Carrington in training according to David Moyes:
"There was a practice match at Carrington the other day. Vida, Nani and Valencia all had playing time in that. Wayne is also running and at the level we thought he'd be at. He'll step that up this week."
- Moyes | Source: ManUtd.com
The manager also provided an update on the knocks picked up on tour by Danny Welbeck, Robin van Persie, and Michael Carrick:
"Robin was a precaution the other night. I expect he and Welbeck to both play tomorrow. Carrick had a tight groin and is doing better. He probably won't feature tomorrow but should resume training over the weekend."
He's also indicated that every single player on tour is possible to feature in Osaka:
"It's very hot and the conditions are difficult for players from our country who are not used to training and playing in these conditions. I hope we'll benefit from playing in these conditions when we get home. I think we may need to use all of our players tomorrow night to make sure they don't use too much weight or fluid. I'm sure it will be very hot again."
Here's a full listing of the squad that is currently in Japan:
* Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Anders Lindegaard, Ben Amos
* Defenders: Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Michael Keane, Rafael, Fabio, Alexander Buttner, Patrice Evra, Chris Smalling
* Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Anderson, Ryan Giggs, Wilfried Zaha, Jesse Lingard, Adnan Januzaj, Shinji Kagawa, Ashley Young
* Forwards: Danny Welbeck, Robin van Persie
Since this is a friendly, it's obviously difficult to project which players will start. Despite what the manager said, every player isn't likely to get on the pitch in Osaka because it's hard to imagine all three goalkeepers featuring. Each of David de Gea, Anders Lindegaard, and Ben Amos have gotten a game thus far on tour and any of them are possible for this friendly -- Moyes might even give two of them a half each. Rio Ferdinand was rested in Yokohama so he's possible to start in defense. In the heat and humidity, youngsters Jesse Lingard, Adnan Januzaj, and Wilfried Zaha -- all of which have been hugely impressive on tour -- could be given further opportunity as well. With Carrick likely out, that probably means substantial playing time for Tom Cleverley and Anderson in central-midfieled while Ryan Giggs could feature there too. Undoubtedly, the star of the show will be Kagawa. After this friendly, the Reds travel to Hong Kong to face Kitchee FC on Monday before flying back to Manchester.
KO: 11:00am BST, 7:00pm local time (Osaka, Japan), 6:00am EST
VENUE: Osaka Nagai Stadium
TV: MUTV (U.K.), FOX Soccer (U.S.)