Copa America and Euro 2020 is over and thus speculation over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team selection for the new Premier League season has already begun. The Norwegian has a handful of pre-season fixtures to get through first but with players set to return from holiday, the first teamsheet is already starting to take shape.
Manchester United will take on Leeds on 14 August in their league curtain-raiser but could be forced to field a makeshift team in front of a full Old Trafford – the first time since March 2020.
Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, and Fred are all expected to be on holiday until the start of August, leaving them with next to no pre-season preparations ahead of the new season.
Paul Pogba started United’s first league game against Leicester on 10 August in 2018 after playing in the World Cup final on 15 July, but it’s unlikely that Solskjaer will take a leaf out of Jose Mourinho’s book against Leeds, who are notoriously fit and have had only a handful of players out on international duty.
Alex Telles could be given an opportunity to impress in Shaw’s absence. The left-back has already begun regaining his fitness and is training with the squad. In Maguire’s place, Axel Tuanzebe could partner with Victor Lindelof. Dean Henderson is back in training after withdrawing from the England squad and is likely to start in goal.
Paul Pogba, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, and Daniel James are all likely to be involved in the game due to their early exits from Euro 2020. Should Anthony Martial be passed fit, he is likely to get the nod over Edinson Cavani whilst Mason Greenwood is a clear pick from the start.