Sunday’s emphatic 3-1 win over league leaders Arsenal means Manchester United have now made it four wins on the trot and the gap between the table-toppers and United has been cut down to a mere three points.
Erik ten Hag deserves credit for this upturn in form after a difficult first two weeks and he seems to have found his ideal starting line-up, which has seen only a solitary change in the past three weeks.
And the Dutchman will be keen to carry on this winning momentum even in the Europa League, where United’s first fixture is against their most difficult opposition of the group, Real Sociedad on Thursday at Old Trafford.
Jones, Williams out
The Red Devils would have preferred playing in the Champions League, but last season’s disastrous performances have meant the club have to be content with playing in the secondary continental competition.
The Red Devils have named their squad for the tournament and it includes its fair share of surprise inclusions and exclusions.
Phil Jones, who has started only 8 times in the last four years, have rightly been omitted from the squad. He is still nursing an injury and has not played more than two games in the last two years.
Another name that was bound to be excluded is Brandon Williams. The young full-back remains injured and even missed pre-season and the chance to leave the club in the summer.
Axel, Pellistri surprise inclusions
Both were close to sealing exits in the summer, with Tuanzebe looking to leave his boyhood club on a permanent basis. There was interest from Premier League clubs as well as from Trabzonspor, but an injury laid waste to those plans.
He even had to be sent back home from pre-season due to his injury and there have been no further updates on him in the last couple of weeks.
— mufcacademy91 (@mufcacademy91) September 5, 2022
Pellistri was eager to go out on loan and multiple clubs in England, Spain, Italy and even Greece were interested but an ankle injury suffered during the penultimate pre-season friendly against Atletico Madrid meant he had to stay back at the club.
Chance for youngsters to impress
The young Uruguayan got his chance during pre-season and even managed a goal against Liverpool and there is a chance that Ten Hag might want to see what he is made of during the group stage before deciding whether to send him out on loan in January.
Anthony Elanga‘s name has not been included as he qualifies for the B list due to his age. All six new recruits have been named in the squad.
The group stage games against Cypriot side Omonia FC and Moldovan outfit FC Sheriff might see the former Ajax boss try out different youngsters to see which ones deserve to remain a part of the group while the rest are likely to be sent on loan.
Squad: Goalkeepers: De Gea, Heaton, Dubravka
Defenders: Dalot, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Martinez, Maguire, Lindelof, Tuanzebe, Malacia, Shaw
Midfielders: Casemiro, McTominay, Fred, Eriksen, Van de Beek, Fernandes
Forward: Pellistri, Antony, Rashford, Sancho, Martial, Ronaldo, Garnacho.
- Online football content like you’ve never seen before
- A unique match centre and hand-picked news, features and opinion
- No ads, no clickbait, no fake news – just 100% pure United
- Instantly delivered to your device with easy and secure online ordering
- Click Preview to see more or buy now for just £1.25/$1.50
- Limited time offer: SAVE 33% on a season pass – use discount code SEASON33 at checkout.