Manchester United fans should be set for a hugely unfamiliar lineup when they watch their side face Astana on Thursday evening, with at least four players set to make their debut.
United have already secured their progress to the knockout stages of this season’s Europa League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leaving the vast majority of his first team in the UK, the Norwegian taking a very inexperienced side on the 6,000+ mile round-trip to Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan.
The Manchester United manager has only taken a handful of senior players with him on the trip to the extremities of European football, Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Jesse Lingard all having recently returned from injury, Solskjaer confirming at his post-match press conference that a number of players are set to make their Red Devils bow.
“We have done great to qualify after four games, and it gives us an opportunity to give game time to experienced lads who need it,” said Solskjaer.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 27, 2019
“Axel, Luke, Jesse not too many games. Great chance to give Lee [Grant] his first start for the club.
“Hard to give young kids games against men, we have the EFL trophy and for me this is a great chance to see them all together.
“It’s Lee, you’ll see [Ethan] Laird, [Di’Shon] Bernard and [Dylan] Levitt from the start so you’ll definitely get a few.”
With United’s senior stars remaining in Manchester ahead of this weekend’s Premier League tie against Aston Villa, Thursday’s starting XI is likely to comprise of other youngsters such as Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong, James Garner and Angel Gomes, who have all made appearances throughout the opening weeks of the new campaign.
Full squad: Lee Grant, Matej Kovar, Max Taylor, Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe, Dylan Levitt, Teden Mengi, DiShon Bernard, Largie Ramazani, Ethan Laird, Ethan Galbraith, Arnau Puigmal, D’Mani Bughail-Mellor, James Garner, Jesse Lingard, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, Mason Greenwood.