Mengi or Maguire is Solskjaer's big selection decision v Luton
Manchester United head to Luton Town this evening for a Carabao Cup clash.
With many players needing game time, some selection decisions pick themselves.
For instance Dean Henderson will get his chance in goal, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka will return to the team at right-back.
Eric Bailly will get his chance at centre-back. If he seizes it, he should replace Victor Lindelof in the Premier League next weekend.
The bigger question is who should start alongside him. There is a case for both Harry Maguire, or youngster Teden Mengi.
The case for Maguire
While tempting to throw in a youngster, United cannot afford a defeat away at Luton and the scenario of bowing out of a cup competition early in the season.
An away loss like this could set Mengi back, and Solskjaer should turn to Harry Maguire as a partner for Eric Bailly.
A Maguire and Bailly partnership could be United’s best and they need a chance to build chemistry ahead of the weekend’s league game away at Brighton.
Luton are a team in good form with four competitive wins out of four this season. United will have to be sharp and Maguire himself needs game time.
Last season Solskjaer selected Maguire at every given opportunity and this is another fixture the manager may prefer his experience.
An away tie against confident lower league opposition hoping to spring an upset is the sort of game where an otherwise rotated team would benefit from having their captain on the pitch to help.
The case for Mengi
The simple basic point reinforcing the case to pick Teden Mengi is that quite simply, he is good enough.
Mengi has been referred to by Solskjaer as a special talent and he is very keen to bring the 18-year-old through into the first team.
It is hard for managers to pick young defenders and trust them, but this is an opportunity when you say, ‘if not now, then when?’.
Premier League and Champions League games provide little opportunity for rotation. This is what the Carabao Cup is for.
Axel Tuanzebe is a couple of weeks away from a return to fitness and will overtake Mengi in the pecking order if the teenager does not play.
This is United’s chance to put Mengi in and let him stake a real claim.
Mengi is physically strong and has shone at every level he has played at for United. He deserves a chance to rise to this challenge.
It is very possible Solskjaer starts with Maguire and then looks to bring Mengi on during the second half, either replacing the club’s most expesnsive defender, or Bailly in the second half.
Another options is for United to line up with a back three of Maguire, Bailly and Mengi in order to get a good combination of youth and experience.
Either way, we are hopeful Mengi get some gametime, he deserves it, but getting through to the next round has to be the top priority.
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