Didier Drogba's decision to leave west London for the Far East will have been greeted with a sigh of relief from central defenders across the Premier League.

Yet, just when the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic though they had escaped the former Chelsea striker, they will have had to face up to the prospect of meeting him again during pre-season.

Drogba will join up with his new side, Shanghai Shenhua, in mid-July and one of his first outings for the nouveau-riche Chinese outfit will be in a friendly encounter against Manchester United.

The match will take place on July 25 away from Shenhua's regular Hongkou Football Stadium and in the Shanghai Stadium in order to accommodate 30,000 extra supporters for the glamour match.

And although Sir Alex Ferguson's side will be the clear favourites to triumph over their less established opposition, Shenhua captain Yu Tao is confident of a result, particularly with Drogba and Nicolas Anelka now in Shanghai.

"We believe in ourselves and, of course, we want to win," he explained. "When United arrive in Shanghai it will be pre-season for them and they will not be in their best condition, but we need to play at our best level.

"We’ve beaten AC Milan before, so we’ll keep learning and hope to produce another similar performance."

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