Date: 6th May 2021 at 1:32pm
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Manchester United will attempt to put Sunday’s Old Trafford invasion behind them when they travel to Italy’s capital on Thursday, with a healthy 6-2 cushion in their Europa League Semi-Final tie against Roma.

The Red Devils recovered from a 0-0 draw with Leeds just four days before to put themselves in a comfortable driving seat on their European journey, as Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes stole the show in the home leg.

News that former boss Jose Mourinho will take over the job as Roma boss in the summer has injected some intrigue into a tie that otherwise would have looked all but settled, but United will know that it requires something of a major collapse to drop out of contention from here. 

In a turn of irony, United’s last trophy was the 2016/17 Europa League which came during Mourinho’s stewardship of the club before he was fired less than a year-and-a-half later after a difficult start to the 2018/19 season.

United’s injury list is looking pleasantly empty for one of the first times this season, with only Phil Jones and Anthony Martial set to miss the second leg – and the rest of the squad ready to travel to Italy.

Roma are not so lucky however and will miss keeper Pau Lopez and midfielders Jordan Veretout and Leonardo Spinazzola – all of which left the field with injuries in the first half of the of last week’s game in Manchester.

With that all in mind, here’s who United boss Ole Gunna Solskjaer could select to finish the job in Italy and earn him his first final appearance as manager…

Goalkeeper

The role of Manchester United goalkeeper has been split between long-term starter David De Gea and the young Dean Henderson this year, with the latter seemingly earning the right to be starting domestic keeper after a string of solid displays that include 13 clean sheets in 23 games. With the game all but sealed in the Europa League and a tough Premier League game against Aston Villa this weekend, it’s likely that De Gea gets that start against Roma.

David De Gea seems to have lost his place to Dean Henderson but could be afforded a start against Roma

Defenders

Despite the convincing lead, it seems unlikely that Solskjaer will stray too far from the defence that has become a regular sight for United fans, with captain Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof likely to start in the middle. For the same feeling of security, the choice at right-back is likely to remain as Aaron Wan-Bissaka who has the fourth most tackles (85) in the Premier League this year. On the left, it’s possible that regular starter Luke Shaw may be rested, as he makes way for Brazilian summer-signing, Alex Telles.

Alex Telles’ arrival has pushed Luke Shaw’s performances into the stratosphere but the Brazilian offers good rotation

Midfielders

In midfield, the regular pairing of Fred and Scott McTominay are likely to once again secure the base of a 4-2-3-1 set-up, a formation that the team has become incredibly settled in since Solskaer’s arrival as manager. Ahead of them and despite his constant selection, it seems unlikely that Bruno Fernandes is removed from the starting line-up despite the aggregate scoreline, but potentially expect an early second-half exit should the game still be in United’s favour.

Bruno Fernandes has five goals in seven Europa League matches this season, including two in the first leg of this tie

Forwards

It seems as though, with the game how it is, that one of the striking force that ran riot in the home leg will be rested, with Cavani left off the team-sheet provisionally posted before the postponement of the game with Liverpool last weekend. Mason Greenwood is likely to start, especially with Martial still out, although his position is changeable as he continues to split time up top with Marcus Rashford. That leaves the left-hand side for Paul Pogba, who continues his United revival with a string of impressive performances.

We continue to get accustomed to seeing central midfielder Paul Pogba operate in a wide left position

 
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