Manchester United are back in action this weekend after seeing their penultimate pre-season fixture postponed due to a COVID-19 scare.
An initial statement from Manchester United confirmed that the game against Preston was cancelled due to positive tests within the first-team squad and staff.
Fears were, however, eased the next day when further testing revealed that there were no positive cases in the squad and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side could resume preparations as planned.
The cancellation of the game against Preston will have come as a huge blow to Solskjaer, who would have counted on the game to give some of his returning stars extra sharpness ahead of the new season.
Only one game remains for Manchester United before they face Leeds on the opening weekend of the Premier League, as Everton wait in the wings on Saturday.
Solskjaer is expected to name a first-string team against Rafa Benitez’ side, despite several players not featuring at all in pre-season so far. At the back, David de Gea is likely to start with United’s most used backline in front of him.
Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Fred could all play some part in the game but all three are unlikely to start together. Bruno Fernandes, who was in the stands for United’s 2-2 draw with Brentford, is expected to make his return.
Mason Greenwood is likely to continue as United’s lone striker whilst the game might come too soon for Jadon Sancho, who will train with his new teammates for the first time on Friday.
Anthony Martial could make his first appearance for the club since March this year, having spent the last four months on the sideline due to a troublesome knee injury.
Predicted XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; James, Fernandes, Lingard; Greenwood