The 2021/22 season is finally set to kick off as Manchester United make the trip to Pride Park for their first pre-season fixture. Wayne Rooney’s Derby County make up the opposition as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes a winning start to the new campaign.
A host of first-team regulars are set to miss the match due to extended holidays but their absence will give several youngsters the chance to impress Solskjaer as they lobby for roles in the first team this season.
Among the youngster hoping to make a lasting impression is James Garner, who has been training with the squad since their return earlier this month and is likely to start the game.
After an indifferent start to the season at Watford, Garner excelled under Chris Hughton at Nottingham Forest and is reportedly attracting interest from Premier League clubs.
Anthony Elanga, who was a surprise inclusion in two of Manchester United’s last three league fixtures last season, could also start after impressing in his brief run for the first team. Hannibal Mejbri, Shola Shoretire, Facundo Pellistri, and Dylan Levitt are all available and likely to play some part in the game.
Dean Henderson, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Alex Telles, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Andreas Pereira, and Mason Greenwood are all in full training and available for selection for Solskjaer. Jesse Lingard returned to training this week whilst Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek are absent.
Predicted XI (4-3-3): Dean Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Tuanzebe, Mengi, Telles; Matic, Garner, Mata; Pellistri, Greenwood, Elanga