United arrange Stockholm date

Manchester United have added another game to their mammoth 24,500-mile pre-season schedule.

Last Updated: 18/06/13 at 17:01 Post Comment

David Moyes: Will take his side to Sweden on August 6

David Moyes: Will take his side to Sweden on August 6

Manchester United are to undertake a mammoth 24,500-mile pre-season programme after it was confirmed the Red Devils will face AIK in Stockholm on August 6.

The game at the newly built Friends Arena will come just seven days after United return from their five-country tour of the Far East and Australia, and ahead of testimonials for their own defender Rio Ferdinand and Swansea's Alan Tate, plus the Community Shield meeting with Wigan on August 11.

It means their overall travel schedule is just 500 miles short of an entire trip around the world's circumference.

"We are looking forward to this opportunity to play against one of the most successful clubs in the world," said AIK managing director Thomas Edselius.

"We are therefore always interested in playing against top level European clubs and are proud that Manchester United has chosen AIK for this match."

However, there are sure to be eyebrows raised at the physical strain it will leave on players as, even if the vast majority are not involved in all the games, many will also have an international commitment to fulfil on August 14 ahead of the new campaign, which starts the following weekend.

The club are intending to use planes with beds to allow their squad to maximise sleeping times.

Jet-lag is bound to be a factor though, with many players experiencing severe problems when they went to Japan for the Club World Cup in 2008.

After replacing Sir Alex Ferguson at the end of last season, David Moyes will learn who his first Premier League opponents as United manager will be when the fixtures are released tomorrow morning.

The Scot is presently on holiday, and is still to confirm his backroom team, although it is anticipated many of the men he worked with at Everton will follow him to Old Trafford.

However, if he is unaware of the worldwide affection in which United are held, it will be rammed home by the reaction they receive on their expedition.

For, as with the Far East and Australia - where tickets for the July 20 encounter with the A-League All Stars were snapped up inside 20 minutes - the Old Trafford outfit are hugely popular in Sweden, where they have 40,000 registered supporters and the AIK encounter is virtually certain to be a sell out.

"Manchester United are huge, right across Scandinavia, and always have been," said former skipper Bryan Robson.

"Everybody knows Sweden has very competitive teams, with strong, physical players. They are always fit, so it will be a good test building towards the new season.

"It will give David Moyes a great opportunity to see what the fitness levels are like.

"Sir Alex Ferguson was always very good at; when to give people a rest.

"The aim is to have everyone up to speed for that first game."

Manchester United's pre-season schedule.

July 13 - Singha All Stars XI (Bangkok) - 5961 miles.

July 20 - A League All Stars (Sydney) - 4675.

July 23 - Yokohama F Marinos (Yokohama) - 4849.

July 26 - Cerezo Osaka (Osaka) - 241.

July 29 - Kitchee FC (Hong Kong) - 5978.

August 6 - AIK (Stockholm) - 1734.

August 9 - Sevilla (Old Trafford).

August 11 - Wigan (Wembley) - 390.

August 14 - Swansea - 450.

August 17 - New season begins.

Tickets are on pre-sale now to the AIK and Manchester United Scandinavian supporters clubs and go on general sale at 0800 BST on Wednesday, June 19 via Ticnet.


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