Manchester United could easily start a completely different XI from the one that defeated Arsenal.
While the 2022/23 Champions League gets underway on Tuesday evening, Man United must wait until Thursday to kick off their latest European campaign.
Buoyed by a run of four straight Premier League victories, Erik ten Hag will be hoping to keep up the winning momentum when Real Sociedad visit Old Trafford for a Europa Leaghe group stage clash.
The Dutchman has been restricted to selecting a 25-man squad for this stage of the competition [changes can be made for the latter stages], as well as dipping into his Under 23 squad if there are injury, or other, issues.
Two notable exclusions from that squad are Phil Jones and Brandon Williams, but most of the other recognisable faces – including recent signings Caemiro and Martin Dúbravka – are there. Anthony Elanga is NOT in that 25-man squad, but he can feature in all the games as he qualifies for Uefa’s ‘B list’ for teams, as he was born after 2001 and has been at United for at least two consecutive years since he turned 15.
Antony of Man United celebrates with team mates Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
MAN UNITED EUROPA LEAGUE SQUAD: David De Gea, Tom Heaton, Martin Dúbravka; Diogo Dalot, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphaël Varane, Lisandro Martínez, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelöf, Axel Tuanzebe, Tyrrell Malacia, Luke Shaw; Casemiro, Scott McTominay, Fred, Christian Eriksen, Donny van de Beek, Bruno Fernandes, Facundo Pellistri; Antony, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alejandro Garnacho.
Changes coming for Man United
Since his Man United team started to piece some wins together, Erik ten Hag has been reluctant to make too many changes. While he has shown a lot of faith in the men that delivered victories, it means several senior stars are short of football.
Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Casemiro and Cristiano Ronaldo are all expected to feature from the start, along with Luke Shaw, who has not played since the 4-0 away loss to Brentford.
Ten Hag will face the media on Wednesday, ahead of the Real Sociedad game, and will provide some squad updates. Three players that missed out on the bench, for Arsenal, but all hoping to feature against the Spaniards, will be Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Donny van de Beek and Alejandro Garnacho.
Should the United boss opt for the starting XI that we have listed below, it would surely set the record for the most expensively assembled team to ever line out in the Europa League since it was rebranded from the Uefa Cup, in 2009. All told, and without taking the bench into account, the starting team could cost £360m.
MAN UNITED’S POSSIBLE XI
Martin Dubravka (season-long loan)
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (£50m)
Harry Maguire (£78.3m)
Victor Lindelof (£31m)
Luke Shaw (£30m)
Donny van de Beek (£39m)
Cristiano Ronaldo (£12.7m)
(Credit: Read Man United)
*Came through youth system at Manchester United
- Rio Ferdinand suggests new Man United captain after Harry Maguire is dropped
- Manchester United turned down £4.5m Moises Caicedo deal to bring in Amad Diallo
- Roy Keane cracks classic joke as he recalls epic Man United vs Arsenal rivalry
- Stormzy gets the Roy Keane seal of approval on his punditry debut