It has been over a month since Manchester United played their final game of the 2020-21 season in the Europa League final. The Red Devils would be back in action on Sunday, July 18. It’s only pre-season friendly, but for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it’s an opportunity to experiment with reserve players.
With the majority of the first-team regulars still enjoying their holidays as a result of the summer tournaments [Euro 2020 & Copa America], a very inexperienced side should play against Wayne Rooney’s Derby County side.
Solskjaer is expected to travel with a 26-man squad for it. Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek are still unfit – so they are unlikely to be in it. In the past, Ole tended to field different teams in both halves of pre-season games. So maybe we could see something of such on Sunday as well.
As a result, expect to see virtually two line-ups for the game. Here is how Solskjaer could shape up the Red Devils for the game;
This line-up is probably the team which starts the game and will be on the stronger side. The likes of Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson, Nemanja Matic, Axel Tuanzebe should all start. Also, don’t be surprised if Phil Jones – who hasn’t played a game since January 2020 – gets a nod here too.
If United are able to get a good lead in the first half, there should be plenty of youngsters to feature in the second half. And that’s where this second option comes in.
The likes of James Garner, Joe Hugill, Ethan Galbraith, Shola Shoretire, Hannibal Mejbri should all play. Also, Tom Heaton should also get his unofficial debut in this one too.