Manchester United Under-23s boss Ricky Sbragia has confirmed it will be a very young and inexperienced Red Devils XI that turns up to play the Cobblers at the PTS Academy Stadium on Friday night (ko 7.45pm).
Several of the Old Trafford club’s regular Under-23s are currently on tour with the senior team in the USA, having gone out there due to several first teamers being unable to travel due to their involvement in the World Cup, and former Sunderland boss Sbragia knows the clash against Dean Austin’s men is going to be a real test for his players.
There are likely to be under-18s involved against Town, and Sbragia told MUTV, who are screening the game live on Friday night: ”It will be difficult
“We’re down to about 16 players, so there’s an opportunity then for some of the first-years and second-years obviously to come in and get some football with us.”
Sbragia is anticipating it is going to be a physical test against the Cobblers, but is hoping all the good work he has put into his players in training is going to be put into practice.
”Northampton will be gearing up to the season starting and I think they’ll be slightly ahead of us in pre-season, in training,” said the Scotsman, who is expected to include former Cobblers loan man Regan Poole in his starting line-up as well as striker James Wilson, who has played for the United first team in the past and was on loan at Sheffied United last season.
“But we’ve worked extremely hard, we’ve done a lot of football now and a lot of the shape and we’re going to give everybody the opportunity to play football and get as many minutes over the next four pre-season games.
”I can see Northampton being the main game for us, I can see that.
“They’ll change it around, they’ll be there to beat us, as much as we want to beat them, but I can see that being a very physical game on Friday.”