Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces by far the toughest test of his Manchester United caretaker reign so far when he takes his side to face Tottenham at Wembley tomorrow.
The match pits Solskjaer up against his most realistic contender to be United’s next long-term manager, Mauricio Pochettino and will be a real marker of how much progress has been made since the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
After making a host of changes and taking his side to Dubai for the week, Solskjaer’s first-choice stars should be fighting fit and ready for the challenge ahead. But which starting 11 will he pick?
Goalkeeper and back fourDavid de Gea will return in place of Sergio Romero in goal and the two central defenders pick themselves; Eric Bailly is still suspended and Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo are still struggling with injuries, so Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones will start.
Luke Shaw is the obvious choice to start at left back, but there is a three-way tussle at right-back. Captain Antonio Valencia struggled against Newcastle, Diogo Dalot is still raw, so Ashley Young can expect the nod.
Midfield threeAnder Herrera was granted a well-deserved rest against Reading and should return to offer much-needed energy here, while Paul Pogba has also been passed fit.
Nemanja Matic has completed Solskjaer’s first-choice trio so far, but Fred performed impressively against the Royals and if energy is the order of the day, he may get the nod at the base of the trio.
Front threeAlexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku were given some much-needed gametime against Reading, but Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford should return here.
Playing Juan Mata on the right stifles United’s attacking play as everything is funnelled too centrally, so Jesse Lingard should get the nod out on the right, rounding off a high-octane front three.