Manchester United will be hoping to prove their status as potential champions with a victory over fierce rivals Leeds United on the opening weekend of the new Premier League season.
The Red Devils finished second in the top-flight last term, 12 points behind Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City as they attempted to seal their first league crown since 2013.
It’s been a very successful summer for the Old Trafford club, though, with former Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho finally arriving in a £73m deal, while Raphael Varane is expected to be announced imminently.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that Sancho will play some part in today’s early kick-off, although whether he features from the off or not remains to be seen.
“Jadon is going to be involved definitely. Good week, but was ill after his holiday. He has looked sharper than expected. Can’t tell you if he is going to start, though,” claimed Solskjaer in yesterday’s press conference.
With that in mind, here’s how Football Fan Cast thinks the Norwegian will line up his side against Leeds, making three changes from their Europa League final defeat in May…
Spain international David de Gea will start in goal for the Red Devils as Dean Henderson has yet to fully recover from a viral infection.
Many United supporters would have been hoping to catch a glimpse of Varane in today’s opening encounter, but the World Cup-winning centre-back is currently unavailable. That means Victor Lindelof is set to partner Harry Maguire at the heart of defence, with the Englishman returning to the starting lineup in place of £13.5m-rated Eric Bailly.
The full-back spots will be occupied by the usual suspects of Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, completing a rather familiar-looking back five.
In midfield, Solskjaer has some big decisions to make. Reports throughout the summer claimed he was keen to play an attacking 4-3-3 system this season, meaning that Scott McTominay could anchor a forward-thinking duo involving Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek.
Paul Pogba’s absence from the engine room should see him line up on the left-hand side. That’s due to the absence of Marcus Rashford through injury, Jesse Lingard through illness and Sancho and Edinson Cavani through a lack of training.
Solsjkaer’s fitness concerns should present a golden opportunity for Anthony Martial to stake his claim to be the leading striker once again, though, and might also see 19-year-old Mason Greenwood feature from the off once more.