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Manchester United: Team news and predicted XI ahead of Villarreal

Manchester United take on take on Villarreal in the Champions League this evening in what’s set to be their first encounter since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s dismissal.

Securing all three points would be enough to send the Red Devils through to the knockout stages of Europe’s elite cup competition, but interim manager Michael Carrick will have a tricky task on his hands.

Mason Greenwood has tested positive for the pandemic and is set to play no part in this midweek clash, while long-term absentees Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba will once again be sidelined.

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Joining them on the treatment table could be Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw, with the pair believed to be doubts ahead of the tip to the Estadio de la Cerámica.

That means Carrick may have to shuffle his pack slightly, although following the 4-1 defeat to relegation-threatened Watford last time out, he perhaps would have done so regardless.

With that in mind, here’s how Football FanCast expects the former United and England midfielder to line up in Spain…

David de Gea will keep his place in goal despite conceding four over the weekend, but he’ll be keen to impress the new man in the dugout and maintain his No.1 status.

Ahead of the Spanish shot-stopper is set to be a back four made up Alex Telles, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka due to United’s fitness woes, and Carrick will be hoping for a much-improved showing from his defensive unit.

The engine room could have a fresh face as well, with forgotten man Donny van de Beek coming into the starting lineup at the expense of the £7.2m-rated Nemanja Matic who deserves to be axed. The Dutchman will be one of three changes to the side.

He should partner Fred at the base of midfield, providing a solid foundation for Bruno Fernandes to attack from just ahead of the more defensive-minded duo.

An exciting front three of Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Cristiano Ronaldo could complete the starting XI as United go in search of a first post-Solskjaer victory and qualification from Group F.

And, in other news…Carrick could become an instant hit at Man Utd by ruthlessly axing £120k-p/w “problem” 

Article title: Manchester United: Team news and predicted XI ahead of Villarreal

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