play against

play someone against (someone else)

to cause someone to dispute with someone else. Don tried to play George against David, but they figured out what he was up to. Alice never managed to play Tom against Fred.
See also: play

play against someone or something

to compete against someone or something in a team sport. We won't be ready to play against the other team this weekend. We refuse to play against you until the field is in better condition.
See also: play
References in classic literature ?
It happened that they played tennis quite well and Philip was tired of pat-ball with Miss Wilkinson (she had only begun to play when she came to Blackstable), so when he arranged the sets after tea he suggested that Miss Wilkinson should play against the curate's wife, with the curate as her partner; and he would play later with the new-comers.
He then doubled his former stake, and challenged any one present to play against him.
Meanwhile, Manchester City will play against the winner of the replay game between Cardiff City and Mansfield Town, as their first game ended with a 0-0 draw, and Manchester United will play against Yeovil Town FC.
They have experience, hundreds of games under their belt, so it's good to play against these type of players.
And he admitted the chance to play against the likes of Celtic, Rangers and Hearts in the Scottish Premiership was a "no-brainer".
When asked if it makes a difference when he goes out to play against Pakistan, Kohli said: Now, no.
In the next round, Kuwait will play against guest South Korea on 8 October, while Laos and Myanmar will play against each other on 13 October.
JON WALTERS says he'd love to play against team mate Robert Huth - and batter him
Wakefield 42 Salford 6 LOAN star Tim Smith repaid Salford for allowing him to play against them by ending the Red Devils' Super League play-off hopes.
I'm not against it, I just think that the players should be allowed as well to play against the team who has loaned the player out," said Wenger.
Wenger stressed that it was up to the manager to decide on whether players can play against their parent club, while pointing out that Arsenal loanee Francis Jeffers helped Everton secure a 1-1 draw against the Gunners in the 2003-04 season.
Tendulkar said it was "special" to play against some big names such as Ian Botham, Graham Gooch, Kepler Wessels, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose.
London, June 28 ( ANI ): American tennis star Serena Williams has reportedly accepted the challenge of British ace Andy Murray, saying that she would play against the Scot in a modern-day Battle of the Sexes.