Manchester United kick off their Premier League season against modern rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has almost a full squad from which to choose. Paul Pogba, who missed the last pre-season friendly with back soreness, is fit and available to play. New signing Harry Maguire, who has yet to play alongside his new teammates aside from a few training sessions, is also expected to go straight into the starting XI, the manager confirmed:
“Yeah, Harry is ready to play. I am sure he will put himself up, when I ask him on Sunday morning, if he is available, because he has played many games for Leicester over the pre-season. He has trained well and he has looked sharp when he has been here.
“Paul joined in, actually, the day after [the AC Milan match]. I wasn’t going to risk him, travelling down with the flight, but he joined in the game against Blackburn the day after, behind closed doors here. He is available. All of the boys are fit. It was always our aim to get to the starting line with as many players as fit as possible. Of course, Eric [Bailly]’s injury is bad news but the rest of them are available.”
Eric Bailly is the only senior long term injury, while Alexis Sánchez is still behind the rest of the squad in terms of match fitness, so is unlikely to be in the matchday squad. There was also a hint of which youngsters will be involved on Sunday in Friday’s U-23 team. None of Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, nor Tahith Chong were in the youth team, which means that all 3 could make the squad against Chelsea. Solskjaer has already confirmed that part of the reason he allowed Romelu Lukaku to leave was to clear a path to the first team for Greenwood, so the 17-year-old striker could even be in the starting XI.