Having Europa League games on a Thursday night is not ideal for Premier League games at the weekend. United have discovered this to our cost in recent years.
There already looked to be a pinch point coming up with games against Real Sociedad and Chelsea just days apart.
Chelsea are in good form, catching us up in the table, and an away fixture at Stamford Bridge coming just days after the Europa League second leg against Real Sociedad set up as far from ideal.
So tying the two-legged match against Sociedad up after just one match is pretty perfect.
United’s 4-0 advantage will be an insurmountable one for the Spanish side.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has the luxury of resting key players, ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge.
This could be significant in a potentially pivotal Premier League match.
Chelsea are in fourth, now just four points behind United. A win could extend our advantage up to seven, but a loss would cut it to just one.
The benefit of this substantial ‘away’ victory over Sociedad could be felt against Chelsea.
Who could United rest?
David de Gea will be rested as usual as he always is now in cup competitions.
Luke Shaw will be able to sit this one out too, and perhaps Aaron Wan-Bissaka might get a rare rest, with Brandon Williams brought in.
We could even see a rare night off for captain Harry Maguire, with Axel Tuanzebe getting a start.
Fred or Scott McTominay will probably be able to sit out with Nemanja Matic coming in, while Bruno Fernandes will surely get a rest too.
Marcus Rashford has looked in need of a rest at times. This should finally come next Thursday night ahead of the Chelsea game.
This offers no guarantees of success against Chelsea, but United will be better for it, with players fresher, and risk of injury reduced.
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