This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
After getting back to winning ways against Leicester on Saturday, Manchester United open up their Europa League campaign with a clash against Ukrainian side Astana on Thursday night.
It may not have the same glitz and glamour of the Champions League, but the competition still has plenty of advantages, not least of which is the opportunity for younger players to make their mark.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have plenty of up-and-coming talents just waiting on the side-lines, and the clash against Astana is surely the perfect moment for the United boss to unleash them. And with that in mind, here’s a look at how the Red Devils could potentially line up on Thursday.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Solskjaer confirmed the side’s number two goalkeeper, Sergio Romero, would get the nod ahead of David de Gea. In front of him, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof’s fledgling partnership will be given a rest, with the United boss confirming Axel Tuanzebe will be given a rare start. Alongside him, Phil Jones could make his return from the wilderness for a rare appearance too.
Fred’s impressive cameo against Leicester is enough to get himself a place in the starting eleven, whilst Nemanja Matic has been pretty vocal about his desire to play more this season. Experience in the middle of the park is a must.
Watch Manchester United Live Streams With StreamFootball.tv Below
United fans could be most excited about the kind of players Solskjaer chooses to use in the attacking positions. Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood were two of the stars of the club’s pre-season tour over the course of the summer, and the Europa League no doubt represents their best chance of first-team football.
Solskjaer has already confirmed Greenwood will start from the off, and there will no doubt be hope for someone like Chong to follow his academy teammate into the line-up too.
And with Anthony Martial still having not recovered from his injury, Marcus Rashford looks set for another chance in the number nine role. It may not be a side completely dominated by youngsters, but the likes of Chong and Greenwood would help make for an exciting team should Solskjaer decide to throw them in.