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…
So after the summer transfer window finally came to a close, teams are beginning to turn their full attention towards the Premier League season.
A couple of early arrivals in Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka started off the summer well for Manchester United, before a world-record move for Harry Maguire closed out their business for this year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side take on Chelsea at Old Trafford in a mouth-watering contest on Sunday, and below is a look at how we think the Norwegian will set his team up for the Red Devils’ first Premier League game of the season.
Despite a rather below-par season by his standards, there’s no doubting David de Gea remains United’s undisputed number one. The Spain international is still one of the best in the business on his day and will be hoping the defensive reinforcements ahead of him can help keep him more clean sheets.
Both Wan-Bissaka and Maguire are likely to go straight into Solskjaer’s line-up against the Blues, and that will be no surprise considering the amount of money that was spent on bringing them to Old Trafford. To complete the side’s back-four, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw should get the nod.
After failing to replace Ander Herrera following his departure to PSG, much will be expected of academy product Scott McTominay. The 22-year-old will hope to nail down a place in the starting line-up this season.
Solskjaer has publicly insisted Paul Pogba is someone who he wants to build his side around, but with the transfer window in some other major European leagues not closing until much later, the France World Cup winner may be gone by the start of next month. However, against Chelsea, the former Juventus star is likely to form the midfield pivot alongside McTominay.
Further ahead, Solskjaer’s keen intent on pressing from the front should see a much more dynamic front-line for United. Marcus Rashford should be tasked with trying to replace new Inter striker Romelu Lukaku, whilst the three in behind him could be made up of Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and summer signing James.
Whether there are enough proven goal-scorers in that team remains to be seen, but one thing United will have in abundance on Sunday, is pace, pace and more pace.