Manchester United confirm pre-season tour plans in Thailand and Australia

Manchester United have confirmed their plans for a first pre-season tour overseas since before the pandemic in 2019.

Here is a look at everything we know so far…

Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United’s 2022 tour plans

United will kick off their pre-season tour in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand.

We will play bitter rivals Liverpool in ‘The Match’ Centenary Cup on 12 July at the Rajamangala Stadium.

This will likely be the first game the new manager oversees in charge of United.

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The squad will then fly to Australia to play at the Melbourne Cricket Ground against Melbourne Victory on 15 July.

Then the three-game plans will be rounded off by facing Crystal Palace on 19 July, also in Melbourne.

Is this what we expected?

It was reported a month ago that July 12 had been earmarked for a clash with Liverpool in Bangkok.

Playing Palace in Australia was also mooted, but the exact city had not been confirmed.

The clash with A-League outfit Melbourne had not been mooted, but it is not surprising that United would play a local side while they are over there.

ESPN report games in Europe ahead of the start of the new Premier League campaign in August are also being considered.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

When was the last time United played in Bangkok?

According to the club website, this summer will be United’s first visit to Bangkok in nine years, given they have not played there since 2013.

On that occasion, David Moyes’ first match as United boss went badly as his side lost to Thailand All Stars 1-0 in a friendly at Rajamangala Stadium.

It is United’s first visit to Melbourne this century, with the last time being in 1999, which is still remembered fondly by those involved.

United’s last pre-season tour saw the team play four matches, three in Australia against Perth Glory, Leeds United and Inter Milan, followed by a game against Tottenham Hotspur in China. United won all four.

The following year, United’s condensed pre-season consisted of one away game against Aston Villa, as two pandemic-impacted seasons rolled into each other.

This past year United played pre-season games in the UK, against Derby, QPR, Brentford and Everton, either side of a brief trip to train in Scotland.

What they say

Of course, these tours are important for United commercially and director of football John Murtough said: ““Pre-season tours are such an important part of the squad’s preparation for the season ahead, so it’s crucial to have excellent training facilities and high-quality opposition.

“We’re delighted that we’ll have both these things during our visits to Bangkok and Melbourne this summer, and we’re looking forward to playing in front of our fans in both cities for the first time in a number of years.”

United chief operating officer, Collette Roche, added: “The last time the club was able to travel on an international pre-season tour was in 2019, so we can’t wait to get going this summer and reconnect with our fans in south-east Asia and Australasia.

“Our matches in Bangkok and Melbourne will be a wonderful opportunity for international fans to see their favourite players up close in an exciting schedule of games.”

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.