CALIFONIA, Sporting Alert – Louis van Gaal says the Manchester United lineup that starts against Barcelona in the International Champions Cup game will be close to the one that will play against Tottenham in the season opener on August 8.
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The Red Devils will meet Barcelona at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on Saturday and the Dutchman is hoping to use the matchup as a dress rehearsal for the Premier League opening game.
Goalkeeper David de Gea, who missed the first two games of pre-season because of a minor knock, is expected to start the game, but van Gaal confirmed that midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will not feature because of an injury.
The Former Barcelona boss played two different setups in at halftime in the last two games, but he doesn’t intend to do that against the European champions.
“I cannot do that because, for example, Schweinsteiger cannot play because he had a little injury,” Van Gaal said.
“So maybe I have Schweinsteiger in my head in the line-up but I cannot do that, but I will play the line-up I think could play against Tottenham.
“We play the first 60 minutes so I have to make a selection already between players, if you play 60 minutes or 30. Our building-up programme was 45 so now you can see which direction I think.”
Manchester United will play its third game in pre-season, following victories over Club America (1-0) and the San Jose Earthquakes (3-1) on the tour of the United States thus far.
Barcelona, in the meantime, will be playing their second pre-season fixture after beating the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1, with Luis Suarez among the goalscorers for the La Liga champions.
Sergi Roberto, who scored the second goal against the Galaxy in the last outing, is looking forward to playing against Man United.
“We could face bigger difficulties than we did against Los Angeles Galaxy,” he Roberto. “But we’re grateful to be able to play against United.
“You play top level teams like this in the Champions League where every game is like a final. It’ll be good for us.”
While Manchester United will be without the likes of Angel Di Maria and Marcos Rojo, who were involved in the Copa America and only recently rejoined the squad, Barcelona will not have Lionel Messi and Neymar, who were also involved in the tournament in Chile.