Manchester United mixes up starting crew
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will have at least five players making their preseason debuts in a starting role during Saturday's World Football Challenge match against the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field (4 p.m. kickoff, ESPN2).
Goalkeeper David de Gea is the most highly anticipated starter, as Ferguson pinpointed this week. Ferguson said following Friday's training at Toyota Park that defenders Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, midfielder Tom Cleverley and forward Danny Welbeck also will get the start against Chicago.
"Hopefully I can get three quarters of a game out of them," Ferguson said. "And then we'll make some changes at halftime, depending on how warm it is. I think that will play a key. If it's sticky, and hot, and humid, we'll make changes."
The 19-year-old Jones transferred from Blackburn Rovers to Man U during the offseason. Last season, Jones injured his right knee during a 1-1 draw against West Ham. He underwent surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee in mid-December and was out of action for about three months.