Man Utd Add a 6th Friendly to What Is Fast Becoming a Very Busy Pre-Season Schedule

Jamie Spencer

Manchester United have announced that a sixth summer friendly has been added to what is fast becoming a rather busy pre-season schedule, with a game booked in Norway where Jose Mourinho's side will face local club Valerenga on 30th July.

The game will take place at the Ullevaal Stadium in Oslo at 7pm local time.

Having played a handful of pre-season games in Sweden in the last few years, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic's hastily arranged unofficial debut last July, United have strong support throughout Scandinavia and actually played Valerenga as recently as 2012.

"The team will have access to top-class facilities and the number of games this summer ensures that the manager and squad have the best opportunity to prepare for the coming season," executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said of the announcement.

"Playing games across a number of locations gives our unrivalled fans the opportunity to watch the team play, with the club being fortunate to have such fantastic support right across the world," he added.


The move to add another game to the list is a stark reversal of recent policy. Former boss Louis van Gaal had insisted that United's pre-season schedule and touring responsibilities be stripped back to a bare minimum before he was sacked at the end of the 2015/16 campaign.

It meant United only played just three friendlies last summer - the Manchester derby in China had to be cancelled because of a weather affected playing surface - with Wayne Rooney's testimonial the only other game on the calendar.

But the summer of 2017 is already shaping up to be quite different, though. United are already facing LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake, Manchester City, Real Madrid and Barcelona on the planned tour of America, before now returning to Europe to face Valerenga.

Manchester United Training Session
Manchester United Training Session

In recent years, the club has traditionally played the last friendly of pre-season at Old Trafford as a kind of curtain-raiser event.

Given that all six pre-season games so far are booked for July and the 2017/18 Premier League season won't begin until 12th August, chances are at least one more fixture will be added to that list at some point in the next couple of months.

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