Lee Grant saves a shot in training.

Under-23s set for Old Trafford game

Manchester United's Under-23s have another chance to perform on the hallowed turf at Old Trafford, when welcoming Sunderland on Friday night for a game that has free entry for all supporters.

The Reds are currently in second place in the Premier League 2 Division 2 table, following a fine run of form this term including victories in the last four outings.

Our most recent Under-23 fixture at the senior stadium was an entertaining 2-2 draw with leaders West Ham United in August, when Largie Ramazani scored an 89th-minute equaliser.

It will be interesting to see which players lead coach Neil Wood has at his disposal for a game against a team currently lying at the foot of the table, with the Black Cats' sole point so far coming in the opening fixture at Stoke City.

Ethan Galbraith leads the celebrations against Stoke.
Ethan Galbraith leads the celebrations for another Under-23s goal.

A number of United's youngsters have been away on international duty, with Ethan Laird, James Garner, Mason Greenwood (all England) and Dillon Hoogewerf (Netherlands) on the scoresheet for their countries.

Meanwhile, Ramazani, Teden Mengi, Di'Shon Bernard and D'Mani Mellor were all pictured training with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first-team squad on Wednesday but it seems likely they will be in contention to feature against Sunderland's second string.

Experienced keeper Lee Grant is poised for another run-out between the sticks. The former Stoke City man kept a clean sheet in his only other Under-23s outing this term, the 2-0 win over Norwich City in September.

Solskjaer recently suggested that senior players looking to regain full fitness could figure for the Under-23s at some point. Although there is no confirmation this could happen on Friday night, Diogo Dalot, Tim Fosu-Mensah and Eric Bailly were filmed stepping up their progress at the Aon Training Complex in midweek and may get an outing at this level, before they return to first-team action.

Not only is there free entry for all spectators at Old Trafford but the game will be shown live on MUTV with coverage starting at 18:30 GMT, 30 minutes before kick-off.

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