May 16, 2021

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Predicted XI vs Roma: fresh faces, seven changes


Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has an interesting choice to make when selecting his starting XI against Roma in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final tomorrow.

The Reds are four goals clear in the game and with a tough Premier League away game against Aston Villa on Sunday, it would make sense to rest some key players.

On the flip side, with a top four seemingly close to hitting the hook, the boss might want to pick a strong side to avoid any slippage.

There is also a small possibility that the points for United’s postponed Premier League fixture on Sunday could be awarded to Liverpool if the Premier League believes United could be held responsible for the events that unfolded. Those three lost points and a loss to Villa could start to draw some pressure with just three games to go and points still needed.

However, the ability to use five subs should give the manager the confidence he needs to rest like Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford and give much needed playing time to others, such as Donny van de Beek, Eric. Bailly and Juan Mata.

David de Gea is likely to return in goal – he appears to be Europa’s choice – but we believe Solskjaer will see the overall changes as too risky. We therefore expect Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Fred to retain their places.

Roma will need goals so the counterattack will likely be on the agenda and so whippet-like Dan James is likely to start. If all goes well, we might also have another chance to see a second flying winger, Amad, for 20-30 minutes in the second half.

With all of that in mind, here’s our predicted XI for the game: