CAPE TOWN (Sporting Alert) — After the briefest of appearance in the first preseason game, new summer recruit Shinji Kagawa has been handed his first start for Manchester United against Ajax Cape Town.
21 July, 15:00 Local time (14:00 UK) - Ajax Cape Town in Cape Town
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Kagawa made his first appearance for United in the team’s 1-0 win in Durban in midweek, but United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has decided to give him the start this time at the Cape Town Stadium.
“It will be interesting to see how Kagawa plays with the rest of the players,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson will again mix his youth with experienced players on the tour and youngsters are delighted to have been given the chance to show what they can do.
Meanwhile, Ben Amos will start in goal tonight, while Anderson and Antonio Valencia also get starting place.
The lone striker tonight will be Javier Chicharito Hernandez, with first game goalscoring hero Federico Macheda, and experienced forward Dimitar Berbatov starting on the bench.
Tyler Blackett starts in fullback, while Paul Scholes starts again in the middle.
Progressing and hard working midfielder Jesse Lingard, who impressed in the first game against AmaZulu, but will start on the bench tonight, was delighted with his own outing in Durban, and is looking forward to keep getting better.
“It’s been a mad experience for me, to be honest,” Lingard said on Manchester United official website at www.manutd.com. “It’s even surprised me. I’ve come on a lot quicker than anybody thought I would.
“But from the start of last year’s Reserves season until now, where I’m playing first-team friendlies in South Africa, I’ve loved every minute of it.
“I’m happy I’ve been given a chance and now I’m determined to prove I belong here. It would mean a lot [if I succeed in nailing down a regular spot].
“But if you want to get into this team you have to put in the effort. You look at the likes of Rio Ferdinand and you see the attributes you need to be a top player. I know I need to get bigger and stronger so that’s what I’m going to do.”
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