Manchester United’s hectic fixture schedule will test the squad to the limit.
The team will play 12 games in 37 days, testing a set of players already dealing with injuries.
This could provide chances to two young players who are on the fringes of the first team.
Teden Mengi could be called on
Young defender Teden Mengi made his debut for United as a substitute against LASK in August.
The 18-year-old has been training with the first team since June, and he could be involved with the squad over the next week.
Victor Lindelof is still dealing with a back injury which forced him off in Sweden’s defeat to France, Fotboll Skanalen reported.
Eric Bailly is also out with injury, which means Mengi could be required as cover as soon as this weekend.
Luke Shaw has filled in as a centre-back at times – he is also out with a hamstring injury.
United could consider Scott McTominay or Nemanja Matic as temporary centre-backs for one-off games, or play Timothy Fosu-Mensah in the role.
Mengi offers the biggest upside of all of these players, and with the squad set to be tested, if injuries worsen – Lindelof has a setback and Bailly struggles to recover, he could get the chance he has been waiting for.
Anthony Elanga could spring an attacking surprise
Manchester United lack alternatives to Marcus Rashford on the left of a 4-2-3-1 formation.
One option could be to shove a player there out of position like Donny van de Beek or Jesse Lingard, but there is one intriguing option who would be a natural fit.
Anthony Elanga has made a successful step up from under-18s to under-23 football this season, with three goals and three assists.
The Sweden youth international is a speedster who has a directness to his play which causes problems for defenders.
Elanga is in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s thoughts, featuring in the friendly against Aston Villa in pre-season.
Marcus Rashford is nursing a shoulder injury which kept him out of the England squad.
Even if Rashford makes a recovery in the short-term, which is probable this weekend, he runs the risk of aggravating the problem with games taking so frequently.
Anthony Martial, another player capable of playing wide left, considering United’s other strike options, is also battling a back injury [via The Mail].
Elanga’s strong form for the under-23s gives him a chance, for United to either give Rashford a rest, or in the case that his injury worsens.
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