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Predicted XI vs Crystal Palace: James Garner to finally get his chance

Erik ten Hag wants to assess Garner for a potential first-team squad spot

by Red Billy

James Garner could feature on Manchester United’s pre-season tour for the first time on Tuesday as the Reds face Crystal Palace in Melbourne.

It has been widely reported that manager Erik ten Hag wants a close look at Garner on the tour before deciding whether he should go back out on loan or whether he can play a part in the United squad in the forthcoming season.

But an injury picked up in training ruled the England Under 21 international out for the first two tour games, against Liverpool and Melbourne Victory.

It’s possible that if Garner is given one of the two deep midfield berths, normally occupied by Scott McTominay and Fred, the other might be switched as well.

Zidane Iqbal and Charlie Savage have shone in those roles when coming on as subs against both Liverpool and Melbourne, so one of them might be offered a start as well. We suggest Iqbal but there is a case for both.

Elsewhere on the pitch, David de Gea and Raphael Varane should return from their minor knocks. Ten Hag will probably want to see the Varane/Maguire partnership in action, so Victor Lindelof will likely return to the bench.

Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot should continue their roles in the full back positions.

Up front, after an impressive substitute appearance against Melbourne, Marcus Rashford could replace Anthony Elanga on the left wing, with Bruno Fernandes, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial continuing their fine start to the tour.

There may be some surprises up Ten Hag’s sleeve, however.

Wonderkid Alejandro Garnacho and the supremely gifted Hannibal Mejbri have not been given any minutes yet on the tour and could feature.

In addition, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has only been seen briefly in the second half against Liverpool and could also be ready to see more minutes on the pitch.

That being said, here is our predicted line-up to face Palace. Kick off is at 11.10am BST on Tuesday.

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