Most Read Football

Harry Maguire: Defender pictured in pre-season with Leicester1

Rodgers praises Maguire's attitude

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers praised Harry Maguire's professionalism and admitted he was 'relaxed' about the reported interest of Man United.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages2

Paper Talk: Spurs ponder Bale

Tottenham could offer Gareth Bale an exit from Real Madrid, the Harry Kane race hots up and Joelinton to Newcastle is back on.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages
3

Paper Talk: £180m for Pogba

Manchester United have hardened their stance on Paul Pobga - putting a £180m price tag on the midfielder - but only Real Madrid remain interested.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages4

Paper Talk: The magic number

Arsenal could offer three players plus cash for Wilfried Zaha according to reports in today's papers, while there's further speculation around the future of Harry Maguire.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer5

Ole hopeful on Pogba and Sanchez

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still believes in building the Man United team around Paul Pogba - and remains confident Alexis Sanchez will come good.

Former Leeds midfielder Neil Kilkenny eyeing more glory against Manchester United

Neil Kilkenny
Neil Kilkenny

Neil Kilkenny has helped rock Manchester United before and the former Leeds man and is looking to spring another surprise by disrupting Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's pre-season preparations.

Two months after a tumultuous 2018-19 campaign came to an end with a 2-0 home loss to relegated Cardiff, United return to action at the mammoth Optus Stadium in a friendly against local side Perth Glory.

Saturday's match will pit the Old Trafford giants against a few players that have plied their trade in English football before heading to the A-League, including star midfielder Kilkenny - somebody that knows all about upsetting United.

As well as spells with the likes of Birmingham, Bristol City and Preston, the 33-year-old spent a period with United's rivals Leeds and was part of the League One side that secured a shock 1-0 win on enemy territory in January 2010.

Jermaine Beckford's goal in the FA Cup third-round clash against Sir Alex Ferguson's men has gone down in Elland Road folklore and Kilkenny reflects on that night fondly ahead of coming up against United again.

"It was a good game," Kilkenny told PA with a broad smile. "I've played against Man United four or five times.

"Obviously the one is the Leeds one, when we played at Old Trafford in the FA Cup, was a good experience and it was a good day for us.

Neil Kilkenny was a part of the Leeds side that won at Old Trafford
Neil Kilkenny was a part of the Leeds side that won at Old Trafford

"Sir Alex Ferguson made the club so big and powerful, a powerhouse of the world game.

"I said before the game, even looking back now, that we had a chance. We were in good form before the game, we had some really good players.

"We were all at a good age. A lot of us were 23, 24 and we had a good team, so we were striving, and we were flying in the league as well.

"I knew that we definitely had a chance and we came out on top that day."

It was quite the scalp for third-tier Leeds to knock out the reigning Premier League champions - a side that was in a far better state than the one that arrived in Perth.

"Listen, they're in a transitional stage," Kilkenny said. "Probably for a club like that, they shouldn't be going through such a time, but you know these things happen. I think you've seen it with Arsenal as well.

"They probably relied on one man so much with Sir Alex Ferguson and him being there for so long it's sort of a massive culture shock then when there's a new man, new thoughts, going away from the one man that basically near enough built the club.

"It's unfortunate for them but they're still a massive club.

"This Saturday's game will be at a beautiful stadium and I am really looking forward to it."

Kilkenny is relishing the chance to pit his wits against United and could be in for an interesting evening against wantaway World Cup winner Paul Pogba in midfield.

"He's got world-class ability," he said of the Frenchman.

"Obviously if he could show a bit more consistency, then he'd be, well, probably the best midfielder player in the world.

"He's still definitely up there with the best midfielders in the world, so it's going to be a good challenge."

Like United, Glory are in the early stages of pre-season and they will be without a number of players on Saturday.

But they approach the friendly on the back of a fine season in which they topped the A-League before narrowly losing the Grand Final, with head coach Tony Popovic, the former Crystal Palace defender, bringing organisation and excitement to the side.

"Last season we had the most successful season that the club's had in the A-League era," Kilkenny added.

"We're the best team in the country but again it's a new season so we've got to prove that again.

"It's good. I am enjoying it, really. A different way of playing football.

"It's a bit more technical here than in the UK, where the ball is in the air a lot more and it's a lot more of a scrap.

"Now looking from afar, I feel the UK is changing slightly now with obviously (Pep) Guardiola and (Jurgen) Klopp coming in.

"A lot of teams want to play through thirds a bit more, which probably would have suited my game a lot better."


Follow Sporting Life on social media - find us on Facebook here or tweet @SportingLifeFC

Related football links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Football

Harry Maguire: Defender pictured in pre-season with Leicester1

Rodgers praises Maguire's attitude

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers praised Harry Maguire's professionalism and admitted he was 'relaxed' about the reported interest of Man United.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages2

Paper Talk: Spurs ponder Bale

Tottenham could offer Gareth Bale an exit from Real Madrid, the Harry Kane race hots up and Joelinton to Newcastle is back on.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages
3

Paper Talk: £180m for Pogba

Manchester United have hardened their stance on Paul Pobga - putting a £180m price tag on the midfielder - but only Real Madrid remain interested.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages4

Paper Talk: The magic number

Arsenal could offer three players plus cash for Wilfried Zaha according to reports in today's papers, while there's further speculation around the future of Harry Maguire.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer5

Ole hopeful on Pogba and Sanchez

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still believes in building the Man United team around Paul Pogba - and remains confident Alexis Sanchez will come good.

Football Tips

Enable stretches out on the Kempton Polytrack

Sporting Life Tipping Record

A look at how the Sporting Life recommended bets have performed in July 2019.

Saturday's best bets

Saturday's Bets of the Day

We have selections from our racing team to help boost those Royal Ascot coffers, plus Richard Mann's cricket advice.

A view of Uttoxeter racecourse

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.