Manchester United’s pre-season pre-season begins on Sunday when the Red Devils face Derby County.

Many of the stars of United’s first team are absent after long summer breaks due to international engagement.

But there are a number of big names like Mason Greenwood, Nemanja Matic, and Juan Mata.

Here’s a look at four reasons to look forward to United’s return and what to expect next weekend …

United over England

Watching England was fine. This summer it was sometimes quite good. But it doesn’t compare to United.

Even watching a weak United team will animate Red Devils fans to support the Three Lions. Give us a preparation game against Derby every day.

It will be a pleasure to see the United players back in action after the heartbreaking end of last season. This is a chance for a fresh start before another long season that will hopefully end better. It will be good to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a smile on his face.

(Photo by Jon Hobley / MI News / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney and another familiar face

This will be Wayne Rooney’s first coaching game against Manchester United.

It will be really strange to see the club’s all-time high scorer against us in the dugout, and after a tough season last year, he will take a moral victory with his team record.

Another familiar face could also be seen. BBC Sport reports that former United youngster Ravel Morrison is on trial in Rooney’s derby. He could get a chance to impress and he would love to show what he can do against his old club.

(Photo by Ash Donelon / Manchester United via Getty Images)

Tom Heaton debut likely

Tom Heaton may have just been signed as a backup and there is no fuss like the arrival of Jadon Sancho but it’s always good to see new players on the team.

The goalkeeper will likely play around 45 minutes and he will happily be back out to represent the club after Old Trafford’s 11 year absence.

Heaton has been training with the first team for two weeks now and he will be ready. The first team chances may not be too common for Heaton next season so he will aim to make the most of what he can in the preparation.

Young players

One of the highlights of pre-season is watching young players take their chances. The international tournaments this year mean that these early friendlies will be dominated by the youth.

Players like Will Fish, Teden Mengi and Di’Shon Bernard could play in defense, while Ethan Galbraith, Dylan Levitt and James Garner could all have chances in midfield.

Facundo Pellitri, Shola Shoretire, Joe Hugill and Anthony Elanga will all expect to be in some way involved in attacking with so many first-team stars.

United could make full changes at halftime and use two different XIs which means many young players will get a chance to show what they can do.

All of these players will be desperate to show what they can do to improve their own individual prospects.

Manchester United pre-season training session (Photo by Matthew Peters / Manchester United via Getty Images)

Manchester United 2021 preseason games

  1. Derby County (away)

    Sunday, July 18, 1 p.m.

  2. QPR (away)

    Saturday, July 24th, 3 p.m.

  3. Brentford (home)

    Wednesday, July 28th, 8 p.m.

  4. Preston North End (away)

    Saturday, July 31st, 2 p.m.

  5. Everton (home)

    Saturday, August 7th, 12:45 p.m.

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