Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained the exclusion of key attacking duo Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes from his Manchester United starting XI to face RB Leipzig at Old Trafford this evening.
The Reds are looking to make it two wins from two in the so-called ‘group of death’ after the superb 2-1 away victory over Paris Saint-Germain, but will start without two of their most talismanic figures.
Solskjaer has made five changes from the team that began the dull 0-0 against Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.
At first glance, the Norwegian has opted for the unfamiliar diamond formation, with Donny van de Beek finally getting a start in a game of significance.
Nemanja Matic, Fred and Paul Pogba join the Dutchman in midfield, with Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood returning to the team as split-strikers.
Understandably, Solskjaer has chosen to rotate during a congested fixture schedule, and he explained his decision to rest Fernandes and Rashford this evening.
“Bruno and Marcus have played the last five – three for us and two internationals,” he told BT Sport, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News.
“Scott played the last three plus three internationals. So five games in 14 days, six games in 17 for Scotty. You’ve got to look after the players. Medically, that’s what we deemed right today.”
Plenty of supporters have implored the United manager to start Van de Beek, and Solskjaer was asked about the summer signing linking up with Paul Pogba in midfield this evening.
“They’ve been waiting in the wings as well, we picked a team we think can cause Leipzig problems tonight,” he added.
See United’s team news in full as we approach kick-off, via the club’s official twitter account:
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 28, 2020