Manchester United’s midfield options remain limited this Thursday when the team face Real Sociedad for the Europa League second leg.

Nemanja Matic, Fred and Bruno Fernandes all started against Newcastle, and as it stands, Solskjaer would prefer to rest them for the upcoming clash with Chelsea at the weekend with a lack of alternatives.

Unfortunately resting all three won’t be possible, due to injuries, with Paul Pogba, Donny van de Beek and Scott McTominay all out.

Real Sociedad v Manchester United  - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
(Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)

So how can United approach this? Here is a look at four ways for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to deal with the dilemma.

Rest Fernandes, play Mata

Bruno Fernandes has played 37 games already this season. Give him a rest and let Juan Mata start his first game since early January.

Mata could potentially drop deeper and replace Fred for the final 25 minutes and United could bring Shola Shoretire on in an attacking position.

Rest Fred, play Mata

United will need Fred’s energy on Sunday against Chelsea and it may be wise not to over-exert him in this fixture.


So United could play Bruno Fernandes in a deeper midfield role with Mata in front of him.

Start Galbraith

United have a talented young midfielder now called up from the under-23s who could start in midfield in place of Fred. Northern Ireland international Galbraith would not let United down.

The only thing counting against him is the fact he played 90 minutes on Monday night.

Manchester United v Aston Villa: Pre-Season Friendly
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Experiment with a defender in midfield

If Solskjaer really wants to take a left-field approach and keep his midfielders fit for Sunday’s game, he could pick a player out of position.

Either Axel Tuanzebe or Victor Lindelof could be asked to sit in a defensive midfield role as an experiment, purely to get United to the weekend. It would be unexpected, although not impossible.

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