TWO TEAM ALTERATIONS
David De Gea missed out on Wednesday’s friendly with Cadiz, as Martin Dubravka played the full 90 minutes in goal during our 4-2 defeat. Our no.1 was back in the line-up in place of the Slovakian on Saturday, however, and that looked like being our only change to the starting XI until, 10 minutes before kick-off, Isak Hansen-Aaroen was drafted in to replace Donny van de Beek in midfield.
The Verdiblancos were without five first-team players involved at the World Cup, with Portugal’s William Carvalho and Argentina pair German Pezzella and Guido Rodriguez among the absentees. Captain and club legend Joaquin was also missing due to a muscle injury but the Champions League challengers were still able to name a very competitive side as Fekir, a World Cup winner with France, and top scorer Borja Iglesias led the attack.
TOUGH TO TAKE FOR TEDEN
It was a slow opening to the game, with both sides seeking to keep possession and prise an opening and the only thing of real note to report in the first 20 minutes was the unfortunate injury suffered by Teden Mengi, who pulled up clutching his hamstring when trying to make a recovery run. It’s a setback for the young Academy graduate, who has started both games in Spain after a long spell on the sidelines. The 20-year-old had to be stretchered off the field, with Rhys Bennett replacing him.