Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the added ‘energy’ of Scott McTominay and Fred will help his Manchester United side get a result away to Everton, with Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek missing out at Goodison Park.
There’s mounting pressure on Solskjaer after back-to-back defeats versus Arsenal and Istanbul Baseksehir and the Norwegian had several big decisions to make regarding his starting XI, especially in the middle of the park.
Pogba started as United lost at home to Arsenal in the Premier League last weekend, while Van de Beek was given a chance to impress in the side’s shock Champions League defeat in Turkey on Wednesday night.
Summer arrival Van de Beek is still yet to make his first start in the English top flight and has had to be patient for opportunities under Solskjaer despite his high-profile £35million move from Ajax.
But the United head coach has opted for a midfield diamond of Juan Mata, Bruno Fernandes of McTominay and Fred, who both should be feeling fresh after starting on the bench in Istanbul.
Asked about his starting line-up on Merseyside, Solskjaer told MUTV: ‘The energy of Scott [McTominay] and Fred, after not playing midweek, will help us.
‘Juan has showed us many times that we need his brightness and cleverness, and he’s been in good form lately. Hopefully we can get him on the ball and let him create chances for the front players.’
Victor Lindelof was a slight doubt for the game due to a minor back problem but the Sweden centre-back starts at the back alongside club captain Harry Maguire.
‘He is feeling okay in his back,’ Solskjaer added..
‘Hopefully he can last the game.’
Solskjaer urged his players to ‘express their talent’ while speaking to BT Sport in the moments prior to kick-off.
‘Every day when you play for Manchester United you need to deliver because you’re in the best position, you’ve got the best possible shirt and you must go out there and enjoy it,’ he said.
‘That’s how I felt when I played, that’s how I feel when I lead them out so I just want them to express their talent.
‘What we want from them today is a confident team working together.
‘Thursday morning was a hard one because we didn’t get back until 4am and Friday we can see the boys getting for this one.
‘Of course it’s a quick turnaround but we can talk about that later on.’
‘You don’t have to delve too far back to find good results.
‘Yeah, we didn’t blow anyone away with the game against Arsenal and that was a tight game.
‘Every game lives it’s own life and the first goal is massive in any game of football so hopefully we can start bright today.’