Manchester United’s Europa League campaign kicks off this evening, as the Red Devils host Kazakhstan-side Astana.
Ahead of the game, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer conducted his usual pre-match press conference in which all things Red Devils were discussed. Amongst the topic of conversation was the starting line-up for tonight’s game.
Anyway, the Baby Faced Assassin confirmed that a young United duo are all set to get their first starts of the season at Old Trafford; with Axel Tuanzebe and Mason Greenwood both set to play from the off. Sergio Romero will also be involved, as the Argentine replaces David de Gea in the starting line-up.
“He’s [Axel] going to start,” Ole is quoted as saying by ManUtd.com. “It’s great for us because I have a big squad and we had pre-season, which went really well. Everyone was fighting for places. Then the closer we got to the league, we had to make a decision about the starting XI.
”Axel is one of them who just didn’t make the starting XI but he played well. Now it’s a chance for some of of them and we’ll have a game every four or five days now, so we’ll see some more use of the squad now. And we’ll see a few young ones tomorrow.“
Tuanzebe is a top talent and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing what he can do in a European encounter. For me, he’ll play well and push Victor Lindelof hard for that starting job alongside Harry Maguire.
As for Greenwood, well, he was electric against Cardiff City on the final day of last term, but he needs minutes with regularity. Tonight presents him with a real opportunity to prove his long-term worth to Solskjaer. It’s now up to him to grasp that chance with both hands.
“Mason will play, definitely. It’ll be his first start since Cardiff and he also needs game time.” Solskjaer responded when asked if Greenwood will start.
I’m also hoping to see a heavy dose of Angel Gomes. He was the player I enjoyed watching most during pre-season tour, and with a winding down contract, United have to keep him happy.
Then, there’s Tahith Chong. This squad is jam-packed with top-quality teenagers and tonight is the start of the biggest seasons in their career.
Hopefully, we can win this evening and start to, slowly but surely, inject youth into the starting line-ups for important Premier League matches.