Why Paul Pogba captains Manchester United and Marcus Rashford is benched vs Granada

Paul Pogba has been selected as Manchester United captain against Granada because of his leadership qualities on and off the field, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Pogba captains United for the first time in over two years at Old Trafford, with the Reds huge favourites to reach the Europa League semi-finals with their two-goal first-leg lead.

Solskjaer has taken no risks with his starting lineup however, with Pogba lining up alongside Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood in a dangerous attacking trident.

Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw are all unavailable through suspension after receiving bookings in the first-leg.

Maguire’s absence gave Solskjaer the chance to hand Pogba the armband, notably ahead of other experienced stars in Bruno Fernandes and David de Gea.

“He’s an off the field leader as well, Paul is a big personality and character in the group,” Solskjaer told MUTV of his decision, as quoted by the MEN. 

“But we’ve got loads of leaders, loads of them have worn the armband. Harry is the one normally but we have a group of very, very experienced players.”

Marcus Rashford drops to the bench amid some injury worries and Solskjaer confirmed it wasn’t a difficult decision to leave the England international out of his starting team this evening.

“We have some niggly injuries and soreness, Marcus was an easy one to leave out. The players are in form, they want to play and with the three enforce changes anyway we stuck with what we thought was a strong team,” he added.

Elsewhere, Alex Telles comes in for Luke Shaw at left-back and Axel Tuanzebe is given a rare opportunity to impress in central defence alongside Victor Lindelof.

Nemanja Matic joins Fred in the midfield axis with Donny van de Beek once again forced to settle for a place on the bench.

MUFC XI vs Granada: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Lindelof, Telles; Fred, Matic, Fernandes, Pogba; Greenwood, Cavani.

READ MORE: Loads of Man United fans react as Solskjaer gives youngster rare chance vs Granada

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