Manchester United are scheduled to face Norwegian side Kristiansund in Tuesday’s pre-season friendly in Oslo. The Red Devils experienced a flawless tour of Australia and the Far East where they won each of their four games and they have the opportunity to continue the good run of form in the remaining two friendlies.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has offered not more than 45 minutes of action to most players in pre-season, and the same may remain the case against Kristiansund with the focus on keeping everyone within the squad prepared ahead of the new campaign.
David de Gea has been the starting goalkeeper in the past two friendlies, but he could be completely rested for this game. We are anticipating Joel Pereira to start between the sticks with Sergio Romero making an appearance off the bench.
In the defence, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw are unquestionably the first-choice options for the right and left-back spots respectively and they should get the nod from the starting lineup. At the heart of the defence, Solskjaer may experiment with the combination of Chris Smalling and Axel Tuanzebe, who have not played together in pre-season.
In the centre of the park, Scott McTominay should take up one of the midfield roles and he could be partnered by Fred, who needs to put up a strong performance in order to encourage his starting prospects for the 2019/2020 campaign.
Further forward, Daniel James is likely to start his fifth game on the trot in pre-season after impressing with his workrate and high pressing against Tottenham Hotspur. We are anticipating him to start on the left wing with Mason Greenwood on the opposite flank, while Angel Gomes should feature in the number 10 role after his delightful second-half winner versus Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Upfront, it should be a straight swap between Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. In the continued absence of Romelu Lukaku, the duo have shared the centre-forward duties and Rashford should get his chance to lead the line on Tuesday with Martial dropping to the bench.
Predicted starting XI: Joel Pereira, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay, Fred, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford