A-League clubs are in their pre-season and there is a big week to come, with a handful of friendlies against international opposition.
Saturday night will see Manchester United return to Australia for the first time since 2013, where they faced the A-League All Stars in Sydney. This time, they will go up against Perth Glory, who last season topped the A-League table and made the Grand Final.
A big crowd is expected at Optus Stadium to see the Glory take on a Manchester United side that disappointed last season but look to build under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United have brought a strong side to Australia, with names such as David De Gea, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and Romelu Lukaku among those that have been announced.
Glory fans could potentially get to see their team’s new signings, including Bruno Fornaroli and Jacob Tratt.
United will remain in Perth and face Leeds on Wednesday night at Optus Stadium. While only a friendly, the two are rivals and it will be a rare opportunity to see them do battle in an interesting clash.
A disappointing finish to the last season’s EFL Championship denied Leeds a chance to gain promotion into the Premier League, however they played some entertaining football throughout the season under manager Marcelo Bielsa.
Leeds hold a strong following in Australia and the trip gives the fans a rare chance to see their team in their home country. There is also a connection between Leeds and Australia, with a number of Australians playing there in the 1990s and 2000s, including Harry Kewell and Mark Viduka.
Bielsa has made a number of signings, including Rafa Mujica and Guillermo Amor from Barcelona, and Helder Costa from Wolverhampton. It could potentially be a chance to see these new players in action.
Leeds will then travel to Sydney to play Western Sydney Wanderers next Saturday night, in what will be the Wanderers’ first match at Bankwest Stadium. Replacing the former Parramatta Stadium, Bankwest Stadium promises to be a level above and will create a spectacle that will excite many.
Last season was a difficult one for Markus Babbel’s men, and it could be a chance to see the club’s new signings. Swiss players Pirmin Schwegler and Daniel Lopar joined over the off-season, as did Polish midfielder Radoslaw Majewski. Dylan McGowan and Daniel Georgievski also linked up with the club and could possibly make an appearance next Saturday night.
A big week is coming up in Australian football and there will be plenty more to come.