Manchester United legend Gary Neville believes Marcus Rashford could be left on the bench for the side’s Europa League final against Villarreal. The England international has scored 21 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils this term, including eight in United’s European campaign. However, the goals have dried up in recent weeks with Rashford managing just three in his last 17 appearances for the club. That has coincided with a position change in many matches, with Paul Pogba occupying Rashford’s favoured spot on the left flank.
That’s seen Rashford pushed out to the right, where he’s not afford the luxury of cutting in on his stronger right foot. Mason Greenwood is a more natural fit on the right flank and he’s shown his best form of the campaign in recent weeks, scoring eight of his 12 goals this term in his last 13 appearances.
Greenwood’s ability to cut in on his stronger left foot gives United greater balance from the right and unless Pogba is pushed back into central midfield, it’s likely that one of Rashford, Pogba or Greenwood will be dropped for the final in Gdansk. With Edinson Cavani certain to start, Neville believes it will be Rashford that misses out. Speaking during United’s draw against Fulham, Neville wondered if the team selected – which omitted Rashford for Pogba – would be the one Solskjaer picks in Poland. ‘I wonder whether this could actually be Man Utd’s Europa League final team. It wouldn’t surprise me,’ said Neville. ‘Rashford on the right doesn’t work and I think Pogba will play. ‘I think Cavani will play up top, I think the midfield three is set and I wonder if Solskjaer has decided that Tuanzebe will play in that Harry Maguire position. ‘I’m nervous about Rashford being left out but I think Greenwood is better there than Rashford. The balance is better. ‘And I think Dea Gea will start in goal. You think about the service he’s given to the club.’
With Harry Maguire looking likely to miss out due to injury, Solskjaer must decide whether Axel Tuanzebe or Eric Bailly partners Victor Lindelof in defence. Bailly recently signed a new long-term deal and has played more than Tuanzebe this term but it was the United academy graduate that god the nod against Fulham. Tuanzebe’s greater aerial presence may give the defender the nod ahead of Bailly, particularly as United are without Maguire and are weak from set pieces.