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How Manchester United could line up against Real Sociedad

Sports Mole looks at how Manchester United could line up for their Europa League last-32 second leg against Real Sociedad on Thursday evening.

Manchester United will hope to avoid a calamitous collapse when they welcome Real Sociedad to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Europa League last-32 battle on Thursday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men cruised to a 4-0 victory in the first leg and should advance to the next stage with no trouble, so long as they do not get complacent on their own turf.

The Red Devils warmed up for the second leg with a routine 3-1 win over Newcastle United in the Premier League, and with Chelsea to come at the weekend, Solskjaer should ring the changes for this match.

With that in mind, Sports Mole looks at how Man United could line up for the second leg.


Out: Paul Pogba (hamstring), Phil Jones (knee), Edinson Cavani (muscle), Donny van de Beek (muscle), Scott McTominay (knock)

> Click here for Manchester United's latest injury and suspension news ahead of this match

Edinson Cavani and Donny van de Beek would both be expecting to earn some minutes this week, but the duo have missed United's last two matches with muscular problems and have also been ruled out of this game by Solskjaer.

With Cavani unavailable and Anthony Martial struggling to hit top form, Solskjaer could hand Mason Greenwood a start at the spearhead of Man United's attacking quartet, while Marcus Rashford and Daniel James - who both netted in the first leg - should keep their spots out wide.

Solskjaer has confirmed that Amad Diallo and Shola Shoretire will be in the squad for Thursday, but neither youngster is likely to earn their first starts for the club, so James and Rashford are expected to continue on the flanks after also bagging goals against Newcastle.

Bruno Fernandes's penalty against the Magpies took him up to 22 for the season in all competitions after he also scored a brace in the first leg against Sociedad, but with the playmaker due a rest at some point, Juan Mata may start in the number 10 role.

With Paul Pogba definitely out and Scott McTominay uncertain, Fred and Nemanja Matic are likely to form Solskjaer's double pivot, despite both players turning out for the full 90 minutes at the weekend.

Solskjaer has hinted at using Brandon Williams at right-back after his stellar showing against Watford in the FA Cup, so the Englishman could earn a start over Aaron Wan-Bissaka here, while Alex Telles should also demote Luke Shaw to the bench for the second leg.

Harry Maguire will miss United's next Europa League match if he is booked so could be given the night off here, and with Victor Lindelof potentially spared for the trip to Chelsea as well, Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly are likely to line up in front of Dean Henderson, who is reportedly considering a summer exit if he is not guaranteed the number one jersey for next season.


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FC Midtjylland's Manjrekar James in action with Atalanta's Amad Diallo in the Champions League on December 1, 2020
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