Manchester United head into the final game of the season against Cardiff City with nothing to play for except the fifth position in the Premier League table.
The Red Devils are a point behind fifth-placed Arsenal, who play Burnley at Turf Moor. But fifth place could be important if the result of the FA Cup final goes Watford’s way against Manchester City as that would secure them a group stage spot in the Europa League.
The team that finishes sixth will have to go through the qualifying stage which begins during pre-season, and often has its effects towards the fag end of the campaign.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have secured just 5 points from their last 5 fixtures which includes embarrassing back-to-back defeats against Everton and Manchester City. We might see a much-changed side for the final game of the season, as the Norwegian may give opportunities to United’s youngsters.
We could perhaps see a few players for the last time in a Manchester United shirt; Ander Herrera announced that he will leave the club in the summer on a free transfer, while Juan Mata, whose contract is also set to expire in the summer, is undecided. Paul Pogba and Alexis Sanchez have also been linked with moves away from the club.
Let’s take a look at who could start for Manchester United against Cardiff City on Sunday:
Predicted Manchester United Lineup vs Cardiff Cty
David de Gea will start in goal, which may well be his last in a Manchester United jersey. The custodian has just one year on his contract which will expire in 2020.
Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof may start at the heart of the defence for United on Sunday. Antonio Valencia, who is also going to leave the club in the summer, may get his final start at right-back. Luke Shaw will continue to play at left-back.
Solskjaer revealed in his press conference that a few of the United youngsters could start on Sunday. One United academy graduate who has impressed this season, Scott McTominay, will start in midfield, alongside Paul Pogba, and Ander Herrera, who announced on Saturday that the match against Cardiff City will be his last one in a United jersey.
We could see one of James Garner or Angel Gomes start in midfield against Cardiff, too.
17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who won the Young Player of the Year award this past week, will get his chance to start for Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, and may start alongside another academy graduate, Marcus Rashford.
Greenwood has been in spectacular form for the Red Devils’ youth side, scoring 26 goals in 26 games.