Manchester United have begun their preparations for the new season and take to the field for the first time in pre-season this weekend against Derby County.
The clash against Wayne Rooney’s side is the first of five games before the season kicks-off in style against Leeds United next month, with QPR, Brentford, Preston and Everton friendlies also lined up.
With the goal of competing for the Premier League next season and ending the club’s barren trophy run, a solid pre-season campaign is important to get United a platform to build upon, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be without a significant number of players this weekend.
Those who featured at Euro 2020 will have an extended break, which gives a chance for fringe players and youngsters to stake a claim for more regular game-time.
In goal, Dean Henderson returned to training this week following the hip injury that forced him to miss England’s Euro 2020 campaign but may not be risked from the off, with Tom Heaton potentially getting his first taste of action following his return to Old Trafford.
Defensively, United are without their usual senior names, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka the only regular fixture of the back four potentially starting, though Ethan Laird may also get a look-in. On the opposite side, Luke Shaw’s absence presents an opportunity for Alex Telles.
Garner impressed on loan with Nottingham Forest last season, while the other youngers who get get chances will surely include Shola Shoretire and Anthony Elanga.
They could join Mason Greenwood in the front line, with Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and other key forwards unavailable for the game.
Predicted United XI: Heaton; Wan-Bissaka, Mengi, Tuanzebe, Telles; Garner, Matic; Elanga, Mata, Shoretire, Greenwood.