Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has one eye on Sunday’s match with Chelsea when Manchester United host Real Sociedad tonight.
After a 4-0 win in the first leg, Solskjaer’s selection decisions are far easier than they might otherwise have been.
Instead of having to choose to prioritise one of the competitions, Solskjaer’s only dilemma is having to negotiate injuries.
The United boss explained in his pre-match press conference that Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani, and Scott McTominay all remain out.
It’s a particular shame in Van de Beek’s case. The Dutchman needs game time and a match like this would have been ideal for him.
Who starts at the back?
Dean Henderson will return in goal as he did in the first leg, looking to secure another clean sheet.
The full-backs should be Alex Telles starting as he did in the first leg, and Brandon Williams coming in for a start to give Aaron Wan-Bissaka a rest.
The centre-backs are more of an interesting decision. This is a great chance for Axel Tuanzebe to get a much needed start, and for Harry Maguire to also get a rare rest ahead of Sunday’s big game.
But who should partner Tuanzebe? If Eric Bailly does, it’s most probable he will be back on the bench against Chelsea. United should go with Lindelof, ahead of a Bailly and Maguire pairing at Stamford Bridge.
Due to a lack of alternatives, Solskjaer will probably go with Nemanja Matic and Fred to start to give United a steady approach. There really aren’t many other options without getting experimental.
Juan Mata would start in place of Bruno Fernandes, and if United can get the the hour mark either leading or level, then Solskjaer can start changing it around and possibly bringing in youngsters like Shola Shoretire and Ethan Galbraith.
The one priority here will be to rest Marcus Rashford. The England international is due one, even though he has scored in his last two games.
Anthony Martial doesn’t really deserve to start after his recent displays but this kind of game may be exactly what he needs to lift his confidence.
An exciting front three of Martial, Mason Greenwood and Amad Diallo would be a dangerous one, with all three capable of posing big problems for Sociedad.
We have gone with Greenwood central, Diallo right and Martial left, but you could also make a case for Martial central, Diallo left and Greenwood right.
There is also a chance Dan James starts, but he will probably be kept for the Chelsea game at this point after two strong performances.
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