Manchester United and Inter Milan play their second games in the International Champions Cup on Tuesday July 29 at 7pm EST on NBC sports. There are a few interesting storylines to follow in the game. Notably the return of Inter Milan’s Nemanja Vidic to his former team Manchester United, and how Louis van Gaal’s tactics will work against an Italian side that is familiar with facing teams playing three at the back.
Manchester United played Roma on July 26 and ended up winning 3-2. They started out the game well with two goals by Wayne Rooney sandwiched around one by Juan Mata. The Red Devils were then outscored 2-0 in the second half and Dutch Manager Louis van Gaal was disappointed with how his side closed out the game, especially his midfields inability to keep possession for extended periods of time.
Inter Milan were able to find an equalizer against Real Madrid in their first game of the International Champions Cup to take the game to penalties, where they won 3-2. The regular time score was 1-1, with goals from Gareth Bale and a penalty from Mauro Icardi, who also scored the winning goal in penalty kicks. Inter’s new signing, Vidic, will be looking to have another stellar game. He was named Man of the Match against Real Madrid. It is the first time he will be playing Manchester United since he was let go this summer, when the Red Devils declined to extend his contract.
Vidic will be largely responsible for keeping Rooney and company in check on Tuesday’s match between Manchester United and Inter Milan in the International Champions Cup. The Serbian used to be United’s Captain, so will have a thorough understanding of what it takes to defeat his former team. Rooney is on a hot streak at the moment though, with four goals in the last two matches. Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, and Shinji Kagawa will be responsible for supplying the United strikers with service. Van Gaal was unhappy with the trio’s passing in the heat and altitude of Denver on July 26.
Manchester United’s new 3-4-1-2 formation will be new to Vidic, but not to his teammates. Italian squads in Serie A often play with three at the back and two wing backs patrolling up and down the flanks. The squad who has perfected the three at the back is Juventus, who have won the Italian Premier League for three straight years. Roma tried to expose the Red Devil’s three central defenders by playing quick through balls over the top of defense for a striker to run on to goal. Mattia Destro was the man Roma were trying to find on goal, but he ended up being offside on numerous occasions. Inter Milan will likely try and find Rodrigo Palacio in a similar fashion, but hopefully for the Nerazzurri, the Argentine forward will stay onside.
Another interesting plot line is the transfer market this summer. Many journalists are speculating that Inter Milan wants to buy Mexican striker Javier Hernandez from United and possibly trade their Colombian midfielder, Fredy Guarin, as part of the deal. Both players are likely to feature in the match, which will give both mangers and the sporting directors of the clubs a chance to see the men in action. Vidic has told La Gazzetta dello Sport that Chicharito “is a very strong striker… who has an eye for goal.”
This will be a great opportunity for both teams to continue to establish their best line-ups for the upcoming season. Managers Walter Mazzarri and Louis van Gaal will also be looking at their second string players to see who they can rely upon, who still needs some time developing, or even may need to be sold before competitive play begins. With three interesting storylines of the Vidic return, Louis van Gaal’s new formation, and transfer sagas at play, there should be plenty of drama in the match between Inter Milan and Manchester United in the second round of the International Champions Cup.
Commentary by B. Taylor Rash