Sports Mole is examining how Manchester United could line up their first game after lockdown, with Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford among those currently in contention.
Premier League football will resume in June after a hiatus of more than three months caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
Manchester United hope to pick up where they left off before the break, as they were on an 11-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaerfacing a trip to Tottenham Hotspur in their first comeback on the weekend of June 19-21, knowing that victory could see them climb into the top four if the results were to go elsewhere as well.
Here, Sporty Taupe take a look at how the Red Devils might line up for their first comeback game.
Doubtful: Lee grant (unspecified), Diogo Dalot (unspecified), Paul pogba (peg), Marcus Rashford (foot)
While the coronavirus-imposed shutdown came at a bad time in terms of United’s form and momentum, it gave them the opportunity to get a few key players back in shape.
Paul Pogba, who has been limited to just seven Premier League appearances all season, is one of those returning to training, stepping closer to a comeback just as football stopped.
The Frenchman’s future continues to be the subject of much speculation, but he should be available for a first outing since Boxing Day, including his first game alongside the new fan favorite. Bruno Fernandes.
Marcus Rashford is also in full training again after recovering from a back injury which at one point looked like he could rule him out for the rest of the season, and his return is a huge boost to hopes United to finish in the top four.
Rashford is expected to go straight into the starting lineup, making him a full-strength XI for Solskjaer ahead of the trip to north London.
Fernandes is hoping to pick up where he left off after his brilliant start to life at the club was interrupted by coronavirus, with the Premier League’s February Player of the Month looking to add to his seven commitments in nine games so far .
Odion Ighalo has now extended its loan until the end of January but is still late Antoine Martial in the pecking order of the center-forward, while the right wing’s place is between Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata and Andreas Pereira – who will all be especially keen to impress amid United’s reported interest in Jadon Sancho.
With Pogba likely to start, Solskjaer must decide who to partner with him in the middle of the park, and Fredthis season’s impressive form seems to have raised him above Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay in hierarchical order for the moment.
The prime rear five appears to be tuned, with the possible exception of the left rear, where Luke Shaw and Brandon williams have traded positions regularly this season.