Manchester United will be looking to end their summer friendly schedule on a high when they host Everton in their final pre-season fixture on Saturday.
United go into the match on the back of a productive three-day training camp at St Andrews as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer welcomed back a number of key players back to the fold.
So far in pre-season United have one win, one draw and one defeat but will be hoping for another victory as the perfect rehearsal for facing Leeds on the opening day of the new season.
In terms of early team news Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba could both make their first appearances of the summer but Jadon Sancho won’t be involved.
Here is how MEN writers think United should line up:
United need to play a team that could at least resemble the one against Everton. This is not an afternoon for Phil Jones or Andreas Pereira to ‘get minutes’.
David de Gea is now the likely starter in goal against Leeds but, as inevitable as it seems that Victor Lindelof will start next week, United want pace at centre half with Raphael Varane. So Axel Tuanzebe is a more suitable partner for Harry Maguire.
Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes have not played in pre-season, Jesse Lingard has shone and Mason Greenwood is a certainty to start next week. United have little choice but to start Anthony Martial, despite two league goals as a starter last season.
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In an ideal world Solskjaer would have even stronger to select for the final pre-season outing but it is vital he gets minutes into all of his available first teamers ahead of kick-off next week.
De Gea is the only option in goal while Lindelof, Maguire and Luke Shaw are sensible selections in a defence which is yet to keep a clean sheet in pre-season.
United are keen to trial a new formation in the season ahead and we could see a glimpse of that with Fred returning in the deep role with Donny van de Beek for company just ahead.
Jesse Lingard and Daniel James could both have roles to play at the start of the season given the lack of fit senior attackers with Mason Greenwood deserving of another start in a central position.
De Gea needs to play, given he’s very likely to be the goalkeeper for next week’s league opener against Leeds.
The back four should also line up as a dress rehearsal for that. Shaw and Maguire should have enough rest in their legs after their Euro 2020 excursions and Lindelof needs to prepare to play against Leeds — with Varane unlikely to be available as it stands.
Van de Beek in a deeper role needs to happen more often, Bruno Fernandes and Martial need game time, while it should be worth giving Anthony Elanga another chance to put himself in the frame for first team football.
The likes of Pogba, Fred and Edinson Cavani haven’t trained much, so may not be ready to start, but they must play a part from the bench to get some minutes at least.
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