Manchester United will face arch-rivals Liverpool in Bangkok as part of their July pre-season tour, with Premier League giants embarking on their first money-spinning overseas tours in three years due to pandemic
Manchester United have confirmed they will take on fierce rivals Liverpool in a blockbuster pre-season friendly in Bangkok, Thailand in July.
United return to the Thai capital for the first time since 2013, with ‘The Match’ Centenary Cup taking place at the Rajamangala stadium on July 12.
The Red Devils also confirmed they will then travel to Melbourne to take on Melbourne Victory on Friday July 15 and then fellow Premier League side Crystal Palace on Tuesday July 19.
Manchester United will face arch-rivals Liverpool in a July pre-season friendly in Bangkok
Both matches will be staged at the iconic MCG and are expected to attract about 150,000 spectators.
United has a huge Australian following and there will be strong demand for tickets to the Red Devils’ first Melbourne matches since 1999.
The tour follows the success of previous Premier League exhibition matches, including Liverpool in 2013 and Manchester City two years later.
Tickets for all three tour matches will be made available to United season ticket holders, and club members from April 1, before going on general sale for Bangkok game from April 2. Both Melbourne matches will be made available from April 5.
‘The Match’ Centenary Cup takes place at the Rajamangala stadium in Bangkok on July 12
United also confirmed they will play two pre-season games in Australia after visiting Thailand
United’s Football Director, 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, said: ‘It has been two years since the club has been able to travel on an international pre-season tour, 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.’
United’s pre-season games in Australia will be played at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground
Plenty of prominent British clubs often travel abroad in pre-season for profitable matches, with Celtic and Rangers set to contest the Sydney Super Cup in November with a potential crowd of 83,000, to the consternation of both sets of supporters.
The news comes shortly after former United manager Louis van Gaal accused the Red Devils of being a ‘commercial club’ rather than a ‘football club’.
Discussing compatriot Erik ten Hag of Ajax – in contention to replace Ralf Rangnick as boss at Old Trafford this summer – Holland chief van Gaal bemoaned the long and tiring pre-season tours encouraged by the United board.