Dylan Levitt in traning in Astana.

Why United could be set to make history

Manchester United are in line to make history in Thursday’s Europa League tie against Astana with potentially six debutants ready to appear.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has already confirmed Di’Shon Bernard, Ethan Laird and Dylan Levitt will start the Group L encounter, each making their senior bow.

If any substitutes are introduced, presuming Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Jesse Lingard all start, with Lee Grant definitely keeping goal, then the tally of new faces will obviously increase.

Memphis Depay in action against Spurs in 2015.
Memphis Depay was one of five debutants against Tottenham in 2015.

By our reckoning, the most debutants fielded by the club in a single game since World War I is five. This has been happened on four occasions over the years, most recently in the Premier League opener of the 2015/16 season, against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford.

Sergio Romero, Matteo Darmian, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Memphis Depay all made their bows as the Reds won 1-0 thanks to a Kyle Walker own goal.

Nine years earlier, a League Cup tie at Crewe Alexandra featured debuts for Kieran Lee, who scored the winner in a 2-1 success, Ryan Shawcross, David Gray, Phil Marsh and Michael Barnes.

You have to delve way back through the archives to find the other instances as Ray Bennion, Frank Brett, Richard Gibson, Arthur Lochhead and John Scott started in a 5-0 defeat at Goodison Park in August 1921.

Kieran Lee celebrates his goal at Crewe.
Kieran Lee scored the winning goal in the League Cup tie at Crewe in 2006.

Two years previously, a match against Derby County ended in a 1-1 draw at the Baseball Ground with Clarence Hilditch, Fred Hopkin, Charlie Moore, Jack Silcock and Joe Spence playing.

It remains to be seen if all three substitutes are used by the boss on Thursday in Kazakhstan but there is a chance the record will be broken.

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