manchester united

Solskjaer hoping his young Man United side rise to the ‘challenge’ against Astana

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping his inexperienced Manchester United side can rise to the ‘challenge’ as he prepares to hand opportunities to several of the club’s youngsters in their Europa League meeting at Astana.

Manchester United have already secured their qualification to the knock-out stages ahead of the clash in Kazakhstan, with Solskjaer set to name a much-changed side that will see youngsters such as Ethan Laird, Dylan Levitt and Di’Shon Bernard make their debuts.

Jesse Lingard, one of just four senior players set to feature, is set to captain the side, whilst experienced third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant will make his full debut for the club.

Solskjaer says he hopes his youthful side can produce a solid performance and is confident the youngsters can rise to the challenge of European competition.

“I think this is going to be a very even and tight game,” Solskjaer told a pre-match presser.

“Yes, we know we have some young players and if they’re going to learn to play these European games, this is a great start for them. I’m not expecting them to go there and dominate but I’m expecting them to go out and challenge against them.

“I think if we went with every first-team player we’d maybe have a better chance to win the game, but this is the right challenge for these boys now. I think it’s going to be a good game of football.

“Hopefully, my youngsters can create chances and score goals, and that Lee can keep it tight because so far we’ve had a great record defensively.”

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