Manchester United can start trialling new formation with key player back vs QPR – Manchester Evening News

McTominay to hold the fort?

The most significant arrival back at United so far has been Scott McTominay, although he has not been captured doing any ball-work at Pennyhill Park this week.

McTominay relished the punishing fitness regime on tour two years ago and he has returned resoundingly from significant lay-offs in the past. A starting role in West London seems a push but it would allow Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to trial his idealistic 4-3-3 formation.

Lingard back in?

Jesse Lingard last started for United against Watford in January and that was just the second of two starts for his parent club last season. The 28-year-old was bright at Derby, where he was a dash of top-spin away from a wonder goal that would have crowned an impressive return.

United are keeping their options open with Lingard amid issues with their left wingers and if he is to have a key role against Leeds in three weeks’ time then a progressive pre-season is imperative.

Will Mejbri start?

Hannibal Mejbri was on brand with a dive and a dummy in his cameo at Derby last week and it would be logical to give him his first senior start at club level this afternoon.

Derby was the only game where Solskjaer could justify the surplus Tahith Chong, bound for Birmingham on loan, and with two more internationals back this week and more due next week, QPR is the ideal fixture to put Mejbri in the XI.

Pellistri picked?

Facundo Pellistri’s first-team bow was one of the highlights last week and, while he was informing MUTV he was keen on staying with United for the new season, his manager was telling the press the Uruguayan was likely to head out on loan.

United’s attack is teeming with options and they have four credible candidates on the right-hand side now, with Jadon Sancho officially a United player. Pellistri started his pre-season well but will have to sustain that level if he is to convince Solskjaer to keep him beyond August.

Heaton to continue?

Dean Henderson is likely to be back in the United team next week, so Tom Heaton is certain to enjoy more playing time in London after an impressive half at Pride Park.

Heaton had not played since New Year’s Day 2020 and his agile denial of Phil Jagielka was not that of a number three goalkeeper.

The 35-year-old is Premier League proven, has international experience and first wore a United goalkeeper jersey on the Old Trafford pitch at the age of 11. He is a worthy number two – if he is bumped up to that role.

Do you want an exclusive pre-season United preview – both in your inbox and through your letterbox? Head over here to find out more and secure your copy.

Rate article