United team named for Europa League semi-final
The Manchester United side has been announced for the Europa League semi-final first leg against Roma.
The Reds approach the Old Trafford encounter looking to take a lead to the Italian capital in next Thursday's return game.
At the same time, Villarreal meet Arsenal in the other last-four tie.
It’s three changes for the Reds tonight from the draw with Leeds at the weekend. Three experienced heads in David De Gea, Paul Pogba and Edinson Cavani come in for Dean Henderson, Daniel James and Mason Greenwood in another strong United side. As usual in the Europa League, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer can call upon 12 substitutes.
Explaining his reasons for injecting a spine of Euro knowledge the boss said, “Of course, they are experienced. They are our top players. We felt we needed that experience and, hopefully, we can get a performance,” he told MUTV.
“If you look at individuals, Mason doesn’t deserve not to play. He deserves to play. I felt the second half against Tottenham was a strong performance and we want to see something of the same, with Luke [Shaw] going forward.
“A solid base as well with the away goals, it sounds negative but it’s not meant to be negative, but we have a solid base with Scott and Fred. We want to have our full-backs really flying forward.”
Solskjaer is looking for goals against the Italians ahead of next week’s second leg.
“Of course, you want a result going to Rome that you can build on, and have a foundation. If you don’t concede, it’s a start but we want to create chances and score. Edi, Marcus, Bruno, Paul, Luke have created a lot of chances and hopefully we can see that again,” he said.
There are two familiar faces returning to Old Trafford for this tie, with Chris Smalling and Henrikh Mkhitaryan both in the Roma XI to start the match.
Smalling, who is now 31, spent the 2019/20 season on loan from United at the Italian club and signed a permanent deal with them last October. Mkhitaryan left the Reds in 2018 to join Arsenal and moved to Roma in 2020 after a loan period.
Substitutes: Henderson, Grant, Bailly, Telles, Tuanzebe, Williams, Amad, James, Mata, Matic, van de Beek, Greenwood.
Roma: Pau Lopez, Smalling, Cristante, Ibanez, Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout, Spinazzola, Pellegrini (c), Mkhitaryan, Dzeko.
Substitues: Mirante, Fuzato, Villar, Santon, Mayoral, Kumbulla, Carles Perez, Bruno Perez, Ciervo, Darboe.