Multiple changes are expected to Manchester United’s starting line-up against FC Astana in the Europa League this week.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to strike the right balance as United’s European campaign gets underway.
United need to win this home fixture against the unfancied side from Kazakstan, to get the group stages off to a positive start and to avoid humiliation.
So while it is an important game, United’s squad is already stretched with injuries, and there is a big game against an in-form West Ham upcoming on Sunday in the Premier League.
In need of rest
It is unlikely any of new signings Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Dan James will be involved.
Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial are both dealing with injuries too, and goalkeeper David de Gea will likely make way for deputy Sergio Romero, like he did in the 2016/17 Europa League campaign.
It is very possible that Marcus Rashford will drop to the bench too, along with Scott McTominay, to preserve them for Sunday.
For a number of players in United’s squad, this is a game they have been waiting for.
This applies very much to United’s youngsters. Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes could each get their first starts of the season.
Axel Tuanzebe needs game time an this is a great opportunity for him to show what he is capable of.
Fred impressed after coming off the bench against Leicester, and he is a near certainty to start. Marcos Rojo could also be given a start.
Here is a look at how United could potentially line up…
Who misses out?
James Garner and Brandon Williams are two United youngsters with credible cases to step up.
While possible they could take the places of Matic and Rojo in the team above, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want to strike the right balance between youth and experience.
Astana have won four of their last five fixtures and should not be underestimated.
There will be chances to mix selection up further, later in the group stages, with six matches in total, and both Williams and Garner could still make the bench this week.
- Key Manchester United target said he is inspired by Andres Iniesta
- Director plays down ‘speculation’ over Manchester United talks with £80m ace
- Cristiano Ronaldo ‘likes’ Manchester United star announcement
- Mason Mount best position: How he impacts Bruno Fernandes
- Early deal for £40m star is perfect way for Manchester United to approach striker dilemma