Manchester United fans will get to see their new signings Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka make their competitive home debut against Chelsea on Sunday.
The new season is upon Manchester United fans and there is a renewed vigour within the team to prove doubters wrong. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will renew rivalries with Frank Lampard, this time off the pitch as the managers of two of the best clubs in the Premier League.
David de Gea is almost penciled in to start in goal for Manchester United and the Spaniard will be keen to not visit the ghosts of the last season. Solskjaer confirmed in his press conference that Harry Maguire is set to start in defence, despite having not been involved in the pre-season with Manchester United.
“Yeah, Harry is ready to play. I am sure he will put himself up, when I ask him on Sunday morning, if he is available, because he has played many games for Leicester over the pre-season. He has trained well and he has looked sharp when he has been here.”
Maguire should be partnered by Victor Lindelof, who has been Manchester United’s best centre-back since last season. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also poised to make his debut as the right-back in the back four, with Luke Shaw set to start on the left against Chelsea.
Scott McTominay has played his way into a key role and should start against Chelsea in the midfield two in what will be a 4-2-3-1 formation fielded by Solskjaer. Paul Pogba had an injury scare and missed a couple of pre-season matches towards the end. But, Solskjaer has confirmed that the Frenchman is fit and available for selection.
“Paul joined in, actually, the day after [the AC Milan match]. I wasn’t going to risk him, travelling down with the flight, but he joined in the game against Blackburn the day after, behind closed doors here. He is available.”
Pogba will be on the right side of the midfield double pivot in the 4-2-3-1 and will act as a number 8 to be the fifth person in the attacking unit. McTominay will act as a number 6 and be in charge of sweeping off the loose balls and provide more cover to the back four.
Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford’s responsibility has just increased with the departure of Romelu Lukaku. The two will start as part of a dynamic front four in the 4-2-3-1. Solskjaer has shown he wants his team to press starting from attack and we could see Jesse Lingard or Andreas Pereira be handed a start as a result.
Lingard and Pereira both had a good pre-season. But, Pereira was more involved and United need a set-piece taker, which forces us to believe the Brazilian will be preferred over Lingard in the number 10 role on Sunday.
Daniel James was impressive in pre-season creating 4 chances per 90 minutes on the pitch and should ideally start, with his pace likely to give Solskjaer’s counter-attacking policy a boost against Chelsea and overall, especially against a defensively suspect Emerson Palmieri. Mason Greenwood will be an option to come on from the bench.
Predicted Manchester United XI: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, McTominay; James, Pereira, Martial; Rashford