The Europa League is back this week with Manchester United hosting LASK Linz at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

The game has a bit of a ‘friendly’ feel to it, with the last 16 tie effectively won already after United won 5-0 away in Austria back in March.

This gives United a chance to experiment with the starting XI and we expect that to happen.

United are even likely to rest first team stars Bruno Fernandes, Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire in the quarter-finals, so some of the players likely to feature in that match may also be rested for this last 16 second leg.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

In goal and in defence

Sergio Romero will be expected to start in goal, although it is possible Ole Gunnar Solskjaer springs a surprise and gives Lee Grant, Nathan Bishop or even Matej Kovar a chance, before bringing the Argentine back for the last eight.

Centre-back is easier to predict, due to injuries. We see a debut for Teden Mengi, who has been training with the first team since June. He will partner Eric Bailly, with Maguire and Victor Lindelof both rested.

Then at full-back it will be two from the trio of Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Ethan Laird, and Diogo Dalot.

United seem to have given up a little on Dalot, and so United can gain more by looking at what Fosu-Mensah and Laird have to offer.

Midfield and attack

James Garner needs an opportunity and this is the ideal chance for him to show what he can do.

 

We would expect Scott McTominay to partner him, having done so away to Partizan Belgrade earlier in the competition.

Then in Fernandes’ favoured position it will be one of Jesse Lingard, Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata. Pereira is the youngest of the three and Solskjaer should give him one more chance to show what he can do, with Mata or Lingard likely to start the quarter-final.

On the wing this is the opportunity Tahith Chong has been waiting for. Mata or Lingard could be options too, but we would expect it to be Chong and Dan James on the flanks.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

Up front there is a fair debate whether this will be Odion Ighalo or Mason Greenwood.

The case for Greenwood is that he has a chance to finish as top scorer in the Europa League, and get his season tally up from 17 towards 20. This is a great game to add more goals. He would be the only player who started against Leicester who would start this game.

Ighalo will most likely start for United in the quarter-final, so let Greenwood bag a goal or two, and then bring the on loan striker off the bench to get warmed up.

This is not a strong team, but it is a good enough team. A team which will not lose by five clear goals and turn the tie embarrassingly on it’s head.

United have a chance to learn more about certain players, who have not played in months. It is sensible to take that opportunity, having earned it through a first leg win.

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