Manchester United play Kazakh side Astana in the Europa League on Thursday, a match where manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could play a lot of his fringe and young players. After their win against Leicester City, the Red Devils will want to keep the momentum going with another victory.
Solskjaer could use the Europa League to give his talented young players a chance at first-team football and see if they are good enough to remain at the club.
Let’s take a look at 3 fringe players to watch out for when Manchester United play Astana:
The one player that most Manchester United fans are excited to watch play against Astana is 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who could lead the line in the absence of Anthony Martial. The youngster has made four substitute appearances in the season so far, but could get his first start on Thursday night.
Solskjaer will want to rest striker Marcus Rashford ahead of the West Ham United game on Sunday which means that Greenwood could be the lone forward in the system.
The striker is yet to score a senior goal for the club, but he has a big opportunity to score one against Astana, who are not the strongest team in the competition.
Solskjaer could also rest both his first-choice centre-backs – Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, for the game against Astana. We could see another highly-rated youngster, Axel Tuanzebe, get his first start of the season on Thursday.
A strong and quick defender, Tuanzebe is seen as a future Manchester United first-team player, and impressed on loan at Aston Villa last season.
The English centre-back has the ability to bring the ball out from the back and initiate attacks. He could start alongside Phil Jones or Marcos Rojo on Thursday.
Fred arrived at Old Trafford last season and was touted to be an important figure in the Manchester United midfield, but his first season was a horror show. The Brazilian midfielder could restart his United career this season, beginning on Thursday, where he is all but sure to start the game.
The central midfielder has a lot of good qualities that could help Manchester United, but he needs to settle in quickly. He had a cameo appearance against Leicester City, his first appearance of the season, where he did well, making one key tackle and interception.