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Predicted XI for Manchester United versus Atletico de Madrid

by David O'Neill

Manchester United face Atletico Madrid tomorrow as they look to continue their positive preseason under Erik ten Hag.

The new manager has opted for a strong starting line-up in every fixture so far, and with the Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion edging closer, that is unlikely to change.

David de Gea has shown a vulnerability to set pieces on tour that will surely be tested again in Oslo as he looks to enter the season in the form that saw him claim United’ player of the season award last time round.

Diogo Dalot is clearly Ten Hag’s first choice right back, with captain Harry Maguire likely to resume his place.

Maguire’s partner has been Lindelof of late, although Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane are available for selection.

The latter two played a full game against Wrexham yesterday however, so we’re expecting them to remain at Old Trafford where United face Rayo Vallecano the following day.

Christian Eriksen also played against Wrexham, opening his account with a freekick in the process, and so may also be in line for Sunday’s match as opposed to Saturday’s.

Scott McTominay and Fred are likely to play in midfield along with Bruno Fernandes, but it is unclear whether we will see the 4-2-3-1 Ten Hag began his preseason with or the 4-3-3 he opted for against Aston Villa.

Given Atletico’s stature and strength on the counterattack, we predict a double pivot to offer more security, but that could change over the course of the game.

Punctuality permitting, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford would be the most probable left flank, although Tyrell Malacia’s performances suggest that Shaw cannot rest on his laurels this season.

Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial have been in fantastic form and are set to complete United’s forward line.

Cristiano Ronaldo may have reported to Carrington on Tuesday, however he is weeks behind his teammates and his ongoing situation would make the flight out somewhat tense as he looks to engineer a move to a Champions League club willing to take him on, should such a club exist.


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