Manchester United host Championship strugglers Reading in the third round of the FA Cup today and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking to make it five wins from his first five matches in caretaker charge of the club.

The nature of the match may allow the Norwegian to make changes to his side, granting regular first teamers a well-earned rest after an intense festive period from which United have plundered maximum points.

There may also be some young faces on the bench – Solskjaer is well attuned with the traditions of the club in terms of giving youth a chance – and we’ve taken a stab at predicting his heavily-rotated starting 11…

Goalkeeper and back four

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/WBA FC via Getty Images)

It is now customary for the second choice goalkeeper to get a runout in the cup competitions, so Sergio Romero may expect a start here.

Diogo Dalot can rampage forward from right back, while Matteo Darmian may hope for a rare start on the other side to give Luke Shaw and Ashley Young a breather.

Victor Lindelof and Phil Jones are the only available senior centre halves, so youngster RoShaun Williams may be given a full debut to protect the fitness of one of the first choices.

 

Midfield three

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Fred was an unused substitute against Newcastle in midweek and deserves a start here, as does Andreas Periera; he has been restored to the fold under Solskjaer, but is yet to start a match.

If Scott McTominay is back from his injury, he should complete the midfield trio, to ease the legs of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic in the absence Paul Pogba.

Front three

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)

Solskjaer has already confirmed that Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez will start against the Royals; the touch of both men looked rusty against Newcastle and they need the minutes.

Jesse Lingard was largely rested in that match as well – only introduced as a late substitute when the game was already won – so he will play if Solskjaer prefers an experienced option to complete the front three.

Alternatively, Angel Gomes may hope to start out wide, after making his first Premier League appearance of the season against Huddersfield on Boxing Day.