Home » Predicted Man United XI vs Athletic Bilbao: Jadon Sancho to play in false 9

Predicted Man United XI vs Athletic Bilbao: Jadon Sancho to play in false 9

by Red Billy

Erik ten Hag is likely to play a completely different XI against Athletic Bilbao tomorrow from the one that started against RC Lens at Old Trafford today.

The players that warmed the bench at Old Trafford this afternoon will probably resemble the starting XI for the trip to Dublin.

We expect Tom Heaton to play in goal, behind a back four of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and possibly Brandon Williams, given that Tyrell Malacia is still believed to be injured.

Alvaro Fernandez is another option at left back.

In midfield, Scott McTominay is likely to start if he has recovered from the “small issue” that kept him off today’s bench. Christian Eriksen will probably also be chosen as he tries to get valuable minutes under his belt.

Although unlikely, Fred could feature, having been withdrawn from all pre-season matches so far due to “personal reasons”, with a transfer to either Galatasaray or Saudi Arabia looming.

Donny van de Beek, himself the subject of transfer speculation, could start in the number 10 role.

New signing Rasmus Hojlund will not take part in the game as another “small issue” has prevented him from training in the summer. He is reportedly weeks away from match fitness.

Anthony Martial could however be a surprise inclusion. His absence from the last few friendlies is something of a mystery as he reportedly returned to training some time ago after recovering from a hamstring injury sustained in May.

However, we expect Jadon Sancho to play in the false 9 position despite getting some minutes today.

With Amad and Kobbie Mainoo injured, Hannibal, Omari Forson and Facu Pellistri are the three academy stars closest to the first team and so the remaining starting berths are likely to be awarded to two of those three. Forson was brought on today so it’s more likely to be Hannibal and Pellistri, even though this could mean the Tunisian playing in an unfamiliar left wing role.

Assuming the other first teamers don’t travel, the subs bench is likely to be made up of the likes of Jonny Evans, who is on a short-term contract, Matej Kovar, Will Fish, Dan Gore, Noah Emeran, Marc Jurado, Isak Hansen-Aaroen, Shola Shoretire and Joe Hugill.

Kick off at the Aviva Stadium is at 4pm BST.

Here then is our predicted line-up for the game:

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