Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Solskjaer explains United line-up

Wednesday 29 September 2021 18:45

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to take on Villarreal at Old Trafford has been announced, with the boss making four changes.

The Reds welcome the Yellow Submarine to M16 for our opening home game of Group F, following the opening-day reverse to Young Boys in Switzerland.

After losing to the Spanish side in a penalty shoot-out in last term's Europa League final in Gdansk, Ole's men will be out to get points on the board in the table.

The hosts are without suspended full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has had his ban extended to two games by UEFA, and fellow defenders Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw due to injury. Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles are drafted in to the full-back slots, with Victor Lindelof partnering Raphael Varane in the middle. 

Paul Pogba looks set to start centrally, with Jadon Sancho operating on the wing - probably the left-hand side if Mason Greenwood remains on the right. Bruno Fernandes replaces Maguire as captain.

Cristiano Ronaldo surpasses Iker Casillas's all-time appearance record in the competition. David De Gea makes his 50th outing in the competition (from group stage to final), his 49th for the Reds, with one coming at former club Atletico Madrid.

"We pick the players who we think are going to play well together," explained Ole. "We have a couple of injuries at the back and we have put a team together that we think is going to cause problems to Villarreal and we also know we have to defend.

“Alex and Diogo have been waiting for their chance so they have got it now. That is what they always train for and they are ready. Luke has not trained since Saturday.

“Jadon has had his chances and we are building him up. Against Young Boys, we got a sending off early and that was the choice we made [to take him off]. On Saturday, there were two injuries early on and we only have one more substitute strangely in England. We are the only country to do that. Anyway, Jadon is ready."

United: De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes (c), Sancho; Ronaldo.

Substitutes: Heaton, Henderson, Bailly, Fred, Lingard, Mata, Matic, van de Beek, Cavani, Martial, Elanga.

Villarreal: Rulli, Albiol, Torres, Parejo, Capoue, Foyth, Alcacer, Trigueros, Danjuma, Moreno, Pino.

Substitutes: Asenjo, Jorgensen, Gaspar, Iborra, Estupinan, Dia, Pena, Mandi, Moi Gomez, Pedraza, Iosifov.