Continuing their meteoric rise as the most buzzed sport in Australia, the Football Federation of Australia (FFA) have announced an exhibition game against one of the most iconic clubs in the world, Manchester United. Currently sitting on top of the Premier League table, the 19-time league champions will be hitting Australia in for a week in July as part of their preparation for the 2013/14 season with a match against the A-League All-Stars at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on July 20th expected to draw a sell-out crowd.
With their big names firing in the stunning last minute victory against bitter rivals and second placed Manchester City, Man Utd offer a huge challenge for the All-Stars, especially considering they intend to field a full strength line-up for the match. Prospective All-Star coach, former Man Utd and Sydney FC star Dwight York has suggested that the match will be a huge step up for many of the All-Stars. “They’re going to find it extremely difficult but I’m sure it’s a great
experience for some of these guys who may never have the opportunity
to play against world class players.” Given the quality of the opposition, we embarked on the mouthwatering task of compiling the Top 5 Match-Ups:
Wayne Rooney vs Mat Ryan
Rooney plays his best for United and if he’s in the kind of form that saw him belt two decisive goals against City on the weekend, then the All-stars will be in trouble. Defending as courageously as the may, plenty of shots will inevitably make it through and test the keeper. Australia’s most promising up-and-coming keeper, Mat Ryan, will relish the chance to go up against one of the best in the business.
Robin Van Persie vs Patrick Zwaanswijk
This double-Dutch affair could see the current Netherlands striker taking on his fellow countryman and one of the A-League’s premier defenders.
Ryan Giggs vs Thomas Broich
At 39, Giggs should be past it, but he’s more than holding his own this season in a squad full of superstars. He’ll need all his guile and nous to match it with silky skills of Broich in the midfield. Great match up.
Rio Ferdinand vs Alessandro Del Piero
This is the heavyweight clash. Del Piero has been a phenomenon in a shabby Sydney team – just imagine if he was surrounded by the best in the league. Ferdinand has been shutting down the best attacking forwards week after week for over 15-years but few have had the skill and aura of Del Piero. Worth the price of admission alone.
Patrice Evra vs Besart Berisha
Despite the Roar’s disappointing season, Besart Berisha is still considered the A-League’s most dangerous threat in front of goal. And again, like Del Piero, image how he’d go with the All-Stars behind him. But coming up against a world class defender will like Evra will quickly establish whether Berisha is a world-class striker or just an A-League class striker.
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