Friday, August 9, 2013
Manchester United vs FC Sevilla
Ferdinand's testimonial game follows a similar fixture organised by arch-rivals Liverpool for long-serving captain Steven Gerrard. The 34-year-old Ferdinand joined Old Trafford in 2002, transferring from Leeds United for a then transfer record of £30m, according to the BBC.
Over a decade later, Ferdinand is one of the few remaining stalwarts from the wildly successful Sir Alex Ferguson-era. However, despite the festive nature of this game, David Moyes is keen to treat the match as seriously as possible; he certainly has quality opposition to contend with, in the form of the Andalusian club.
"There are a lot of people attending. In terms of people going on the pitch, the manager wants it to be a serious pre-season game and I think I am governed by that. But there will be a few surprises at half-time, I can tell you that," Ferdinand told the club's website.
This is United's final friendly before the start of the 2013/14 Premier League season on 17 August. However, the first competitive game of the season is next weekend, when they face Wigan Athletic for the Community Shield.
Meanwhile, Sevilla come into this game after a routine demolition of Montenegrins Mladost Podgorica in the qualifying rounds for the season's Europa League. Unai Emery's men recorded a 3-0 win at the Sanchez Pizjuan in the first leg and hammered their opponents 6-1 in the return.
Clearly the loss of Spain internationals Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas (both to Manchester City) has not yet affected their fortunes. And this means Moyes will have to be particularly careful to avoid an embarrassing result during so important a game.
The one point in favour of a massive home win is that the scheduling has played havoc with Sevilla's players. The Spaniards played Podgorica on Thursday and the nearly 3,000km trip to Manchester will take its toll. Expect Emery to start a completely different side this evening with first team players on the bench but unlikely to feature.