With the growing stature of the domestic season, football fans can sometimes see international football as an annoying distraction from the glitz of the Premier League and Champions League. For that very reason, we’ve identified 5 key non-England games for fans of each of the big clubs in England and given suggestions of how you should market the biggest fixture of the 5, to get your punters as excited as they would be for a club game.
In this edition it's Mou's Men - Man United:
Serbia v Brazil - 7pm, Wednesday 27th June
Nemanja Matic might not be the most glamorous player, but United fans will want to see how he does against Brazilian superstar Neymar. This game also threatens to be one of the higher quality group games of the tournament with Serbia looking strong, meaning that this game could decide the winners of Group E. Crunch time of the group stages and a perfect excuse for a post-work trip to the pub makes this one a no brainer to have on.
Belgium vs Tunisia - 3pm, Saturday 23rd June
Love him or hate him, one of Belgium and United's most impactful players is Marouane Fellaini. He, and the slightly more universally popular Lukaku, will be representing England's biggest group stage threat, Belgium. Belgium will fancy lots of goals against Tunisia so it'll be a great chance for United fans to see Lukaku and Fellaini potentially get on the score sheet.
Belgium vs Panama - 4pm, Monday 18th June
United fans have an infamous reputation of not particularly liking the England national team, so marketing this pre-England game as a chance for United fans to support England's biggest group rivals before England actually play could be a winner. Taking the route that many Scottish/Welsh pubs will also be taking and hosting an anti-England party could be a risky but rewarding tactic if you've got loads of reds.
Denmark vs France - 3pm, Tuesday 26th June
After a disappoiting performance in the finals of Euro 2016, France will fancy themselves to make a serious impression at the World Cup. To do so, Paul Pogba will need to be at his best and United fans will want to watch him all the way through the tournament. Another potential group decider should be your main marleting point for getting people in for this game, put on a late lunch offer and offer discount to any reds in a Pogba shirt and you should see your usual Tuesday business increase.
KEY FIXTURE - Portugal vs Spain - 7pm, Friday 15th June
The best keeper in the world vs arguably the best player in the world. Both with a massive connection to United and adored by the fans. De Gea vs Ronaldo is going to be just one of many talking points for this massive clash. This is definitely the sort of game that you'll want to have some sort of sweepstake/raffle on Ronaldo scoring/De Gea keeping a clean sheet - especially if you're going to be full of United fans.
All images - PA