Manchester United are in a formidable position ahead of their Europa League semi-final second leg against Roma tonight (Thursday, 8pm UK time kick off).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side lead the Serie A club 6-2 after an emphatic first leg performance at Old Trafford, although their preparations for the game in Rome have been disrupted by widespread anti-Glazer protests by United fans.
The mass protest on Sunday prompted the authorities to postpone United’s league game against Liverpool.
It remains to be seen whether that will have a positive or negative impact on United, who have virtually a fully fit squad — other than long-term injury absentees Anthony Martial and Phil Jones, and Daniel James who also misses the trip.
Here, our MEN United writers pick the teams they think should face Roma:
Solskjaer overcompensated against Real Sociedad when United had a four-goal advantage but the difference this time is United have not played for a week. Rome was also the scene of one of the Champions League’s most memorable modern recoveries.
David de Gea and Alex Telles can come in without compromising the defence. Depriving United of Bruno Fernandes and replacing him with the disappointing Donny van de Beek is too extreme, though.
Mason Greenwood merits a start and Edinson Cavani is United’s in-form forward. Nemanja Matic would be a stable presence.
Given United effectively had a rest day on Sunday, rather than an intense league game against Liverpool, there is no need for Solskjaer to make drastic changes.
De Gea in goal is an obvious selection, while Eric Bailly may benefit from some game time at the back instead of Victor Lindelof. Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka play a lot of football, but could be replaced at half-time if United are still ahead by a distance in the tie.
A four-goal advantage from the first leg should give Solskjaer adequate scope to play Donny van de Beek from the start, with Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes options off the bench if they’re needed.
The midfield axis of Fred and Scott McTominay is not popular with some fans but it would be a wise selection away in Rome.
United might have one foot in the final but Solskjaer won’t be up for taking many risks as he looks to final overcome his semi-final hoodoo.
De Gea is a certainty in goal, while Telles has been a regular in the Europa League already this season. Bailly for Lindelof is another option, but probably an unlikely one given his lack of recent playing time.
The midfield trio selects itself, as does Greenwood on the right wing. Cavani is fit to start one match this week, but is perhaps more essential against Villa this weekend.
Pogba is the best option on the left wing, however Van de Beek could be viewed as somewhat of a free hit in that role given the four-goal cushion.