Derby County vs Manchester United LIVE Football Match Score July 18/7/2021
Manchester United have begun their preparations for the new season and take to the field for the first time in pre-season this weekend against Derby County.The clash against Wayne Rooney’s side is the first of five games before the season kicks-off in style against Leeds United next month, with QPR, Brentford, Preston and Everton friendlies also lined up.With the goal of competing for the Premier League next season and ending the club’s barren trophy run, a solid pre-season campaign is important to get United a platform to build upon, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be without a significant number of players this weekend.
There is no getting away from the fact that 2020-21 proved to be a difficult campaign for Derby, who collected just 44 points from their 46 Championship matches to finish down in 21st spot, just a point above the relegation zone.
The Rams had still been threatened with relegation to League One, as the EFL considered an appeal against a £100,000 fine issued for financial irregularities, but Rooney’s side will play in the Championship next term.
Derby are currently operating under a transfer embargo, though, so can only sign free agents and loan players, which has placed them in a difficult position ahead of 2021-22, which starts with a home game against Huddersfield on August 7.
Man United lead the overall head-to-head record between the two sides, having recorded 47 wins to Derby’s 32, while there have also been 29 draws throughout history.
The two sides actually locked horns last year in the FA Cup, with Luke Shaw and Odion Ighalo on the scoresheet in a 3-0 victory for the Red Devils against a Derby side that included Rooney.
The pair have not met in the league since March 2008, though, with Man United running out 1-0 winners at Pride Park courtesy of a late winner from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Man United, meanwhile, have not been in action since losing the Europa League final on penalties to Villarreal at the end of May; there will be Champions League football next term, though, courtesy of a second-place finish in the Premier League, which has to go down as a success.
The 20-time English champions are on the verge of confirming a deal for Jadon Sancho, while Raphael Varane could arrive from Real Madrid, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looking to assemble a squad capable of mounting a serious challenge for next season’s Premier League title.
The Red Devils have five pre-season matches in the diary, following this clash with fixtures against Queens Park Rangers, Brentford and Preston North End before the end of the month.
Solskjaer’s team will then take on Everton in their final pre-season fixture on August 7 ahead of their 2021-22 Premier League opener at home to Marcelo Bielsa‘s Leeds on August 14.
Man United’s start to the new season is relatively kind on paper, and it will be fascinating to see whether the club are capable of launching a title challenge; for now, though, the players will be fully focused on getting up to speed in the coming weeks.