Manchester United begin their Premier league campaign against Leicester City on Friday night to kick start what might turn out to be one of the most intriguing Premier League seasons in recent memory.
After a tough pre-season which saw them lose 2 matches, Manchester United finally begin their Premier League season on Friday night at Old Trafford against Leicester City. Many first team players have returned from their holidays. including the likes of Lukaku and Pogba, as their preparations begin for the new season.
However, they may not take part in the opening fixture due to a lack of match sharpness. Also, any new signings that might come in by Thursday would have to wait for their debuts.
Mourinho might go with a similar 11 to the one that played against Bayern Munich, but there are some doubts regarding Ander Herrera and Eric Bailly as both suffered knocks in Munich. Mourinho though, might want to take risk of playing them as United do not have many first team players available for selection. Here is our predicted line-up for the Red Devils:
GOALKEEPER for Manchester United vs Leicester City: David De Gea
David De Gea returned to the squad after his unimpressive campaign in Russia in time to play 2 crucial matches against Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Though he couldn’t keep a clean sheet in any of the matches, he surely has regained match sharpness. So, he will keep his place.
DEFENDERS for Manchester United vs Leicester City: Darmian, Shaw, Lindelof, Bailly/Smalling
Darmain and Shaw are the only available full backs for Mourinho. Valencia returned from his injury but will not play, and Ashley Young has just returned from his holidays so it might be too soon for him to start.
Though Bailly is injured, Mourinho might take a risk with him if he gets better as he is the best centre back option available. Lindelof played against Bayern, so he could get the nod over Smalling, who might still have a role to play on Friday.
MIDFIELDERS for Manchester United vs Leicester City: Pereira, Fred, Herrera/McTominay
Andreas Pereira was one of the best players on the pre-season tour, playing a part in every single game. Matic’s injury and Pogba’s late arrival will surely give him a place in the starting XI. Fred will fill one of the midfield positions as well, after his £57million switch in the summer.
Herrera might be a doubt having suffered a knock against Bayern, so Mourinho might turn to his Player of the Year Scott McTominay to fill that void.
STRIKERS for Manchester United vs Leicester City: Mata, Sanchez, Rashford
Sanchez will probably be the first name on the team sheet after having an exceptional pre-season. Mata will slot into that right wing position due to the unavailability of key players.
Rashford will get picked over Martial after the latter’s late arrival following the birth of his child. He wasn’t a part of the team that traveled to Munich, either.
Starting XI (4-3-3): De gea, Darmian, Shaw, Lindelof, Bailly, Pereira, Fred, Herrera, Mata, Rashford, Sanchez