Big lineup changes expected as Manchester United returns to Europa League action
Makeshift squad expected for Red Devils this summer
As European competition is set to return it’s expected Manchester United have a makeshift lineup for the foreseeable future. United is preparing for their second leg matchup with Austrian side LASK this Wednesday at Old Trafford leading by an aggregate score of 5-0. Assuming they’re able to make a long run in the Europa League it could be a very long summer that will only get busier for the Manchester club heading into next season. Barring a collapse on Wednesday the Red Devils will have just 5 days off in between that match and the Quarterfinals where they’d take on either Copenhagen or Istanbul Basaksehir. The semi-finals are scheduled for August 16 while the final is slated to be played on August 21.
Given the teams form and their projected opponents it would come as no surprise to see Man U reach the final for the first time since 2017(also the last time they won a trophy of any kind). While the number 1 squad may not be featured as prominently there are many players who’ve gotten the call from Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjar in this season’s Europa League. Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, James Garner, Dishon Bernard, Ethan Laird, and Dylan Levitt all saw action in the competitions group stages. United’s first team has seen a lot of action of late which could be a concern for Solskjar given the restart of the Premier League is scheduled for September 12, 22 days after the Europa League Final is played. In the team’s last 9 domestic league matches regulars Victor Lindelof, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford were all featured. Meanwhile mainstays Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes have started in 11 games in the past 37 days.
It will be interesting to see how United approach this tournament going forward. The team has seen a resurgence of sorts with a third-place finish in the EPL standings which will have the team qualified for the Champions League next season. On the other hand, as mentioned earlier the team has not won any trophy since their Europa League triumph of 2017 which is the longest stretch the club has gone without any hardware since the late 80s. Coming away with at least a trophy each season is what is always expected for the famous Man United club who are one of only 5 clubs to have won all three main UEFA club competitions. (JSL)