Manchester United will open their new campaign at home where they will take on Leicester City. After finishing a distant second last season, Jose Mourinho would hope that they can challenge their local rivals Manchester City better in the upcoming season. However, he is likely to have a subdued start as some of his leading players would be unavailable for the initial games as they have joined the squad late after the World Cup.
The transfer window has not exactly gone according to the plans as United could not land a centre back. They have been linked with plenty of defensive stars throughout the window including Leicester City’s Harry Maguire, but they failed to make a deal on deadline day.
Mourinho has made three signings in the transfer window, out of which only Fred can be classified as a first team option. He will be expected to make his debut in the Premier League, and a lot will depend on him in midfield as the likes of Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic would be unavailable for the opening match tomorrow.
This is likely to be a make or break season for the Portuguese manager, and another failure in terms of trophies will probably put the curtains on his United career.
Jesse Lingard, Marouane Fellaini, Ashley Young and Paul Pogba have all returned late and are unlikely to start in the first game of the season. Newcomer Diogo Dalot is ruled out due to an injury along with Antonio Valencia, and someone else would have to fill in the right-back role. Anthony Martial and Jose Mourinho don’t seem to share the best of relationship at the moment, and that could see the Frenchman being ignored in this opening fixture.
David De Gea will be expected to make amends after a poor World Cup, and the United faithful would hope that he can get back to his best. Eric Bailly would start in the heart of the defence, and it is yet not clear who his partner would be in the initial games. We are going in with Chris Smalling as he has been available throughout the preseason.
Luke Shaw has been given another chance to prove himself. He is going to start in the left-back role in the absence of Ashley Young. With two right back’s ruled out due to injury, Matteo Darmian should be the one to start.
Andreas Pereira has spent the last season on loan with Valencia and is finally set to get a break in the United squad. He has been one of the most impressive players this pre-season. Ander Herrera would be his partner in the absence of Nemanja Matic. Fred is very much in line to make his debut this week.
Romelu Lukaku didn’t feature in the last preseason game even though he returned early. Most likely he will make an appearance off the bench as and when required and Alexis Sanchez will be the one to lead the line. Marcus Rashford is United’s new no. 10 and the Englishman should start down the left wing. Juan Mata will play down the right to complete the starting eleven.
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