The experimental XI United could pick against Real Sociedad
Manchester United’s 4-0 win over Real Sociedad has given United a very healthy advantage heading into this week’s second leg.
With an away game against Chelsea days later, United have a rare chance to rest key players Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford and may be a few others too.
With a big lead, United could go for a nearly all change side to the one which started the first leg.
Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles, Dan James and Mason Greenwood could be the only players who started in Italy who retain their places.
Of these five, only James started at the weekend in the 3-1 win over Newcastle.
An opportunity for players who need it
This game is a great chance for Axel Tuanzebe and Brandon Williams to get some much needed game time.
The young defensive duo have played so sporadically this season it has been tough for them to find form.
This be just the second time Tuanzebe has started with Eric Bailly. One reason Bailly may not play, is if he is being specifically saved for the Chelsea fixture. We hope he plays in both.
In midfield we really hope Donny van de Beek can return from injury in time to feature. He did train ahead of the first leg, and United need midfield reinforcements.
Playing Van de Beek alongside Nemanja Matic would save both Fred and Scott McTominay (also battling an injury) for the Chelsea game.
This match could be an ideal time to give Shola Shoretire and Amad Diallo their first starts for the club. Both players have made late cameos in the last couple of games.
We would expect that Juan Mata would probably start ahead of Shoretire. But if Solskjaer really wants to take an experimental approach, he would go with the youngsters.
There might be an opportunity to throw a couple of other youngsters onto the bench too. Hannibal Mejbri, Ethan Galbraith and even Joe Hugill are outside shots.
United have to balance out a desire to give players game time and winning the match to keep up momentum.
So while we don’t think United will quite go with a side this experimental, this is a look at how far United could push it.
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