Manchester United vs Melbourne Victory, football news 2022, EPL 2022, Premier League, Marcus Rashford

Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is eyeing a ‘fresh start’ at the club after a horror 12 months saw him dumped from the England national team.

The Red Devils will play their first game in Melbourne since 1999 when they go head-to-head with Melbourne Victory at the MCG on Friday night.

An English blockbuster also awaits the Old Trafford club with a match against Crystal Palace also set to be held at the ‘G on Tuesday.

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More than 150,000 tickets have been sold for the two matches at arguably Australia’s most well-known sporting venue.

United got their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia off to a dream start with a convincing 4-0 win over rivals Liverpool in Bangkok this week.

But with the Premier League kicking off in less than a month, Rashford spoke about the importance of getting it right in pre-season.

“It’s a big club that we play for and we’re expected to win, as we should do,” Rashford told media.

Marcus Rashford celebrates with Cristiano Ronaldo.Source: AFP

“We do all this hard work now and try and win as many games as we can in pre-season, and then when it comes to the first game of the season we’re ready to give everything.

“It’s not often we get the opportunity to play against players and teams from Australia.

“It’s always tough cause it’s unexpected for us, so we have to approach the game with the right mentality, the right mindset.”

The England international is targeting a “fresh start” for himself with the club on the back of a nightmare 12 months where he scored just five club goals and was dumped from the English national team.

That allowed him to enjoy a full pre-season as he seeks to force his way into his new manager’s plans – and hopefully earn a place in the Qatar 2022 World Cup.

“I think it’s the first year where I’ve been with the team from the beginning and to be honest I already feel a lot better than usually when you go (to play) internationals and you come back mid-way through the pre-season,” he added.

“It’s important for me to get a fresh start and I’ve been given that opportunity.”

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Mystery still surrounds the availability of football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo after he reportedly asked for a transfer away from the club.

But new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has stood by his comments from earlier this week, that the striker wasn’t going anywhere.

“We made a statement and nothing has changed,” ten Hag said.

“This pre-season, with football you play to win. In the end it’s always important, winning.

“Of course this pre-season we have to develop our team. We have a strong squad.”

Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag has said has said that captain Harry Maguire will be available for Friday’s match against Melbourne Victory.

The England international missed the 4-0 thrashing of rivals Liverpool after a knock in training.

Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Alex Telles all had a chance to impress in central defence in Maguire’s absence.

Ten Hag has said that the England defender should be available to play at least 45 minutes in front of packed stadium at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

“He is tomorrow available,” said Ten Hag on Thursday, whose side will also face Crystal Palace and Aston Villa in Australia.

“We will see (how long for). I think he can play half a game.”