Man Utd predicted XI to face Sheriff Tiraspol with five absentees for Erik ten Hag

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We think Manchester United could make five changes for the midweek game.

Manchester United will be without five first-team players for Thursday’s Europa League clash with Sheriff Tiraspol.

The Red Devils head to Moldova on the back of a 1-0 loss to Real Sociedad in the Group E opener last week, and will be aiming to immediately bounce back with a positive response.

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But Erik ten Hag will be without the services of Martin Dubravka, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Donny van de Beek, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford for the game, all of whom were not named in the travelling squad on Wednesday.

Asked about the latter during his pre-match press conference, Ten Hag responded: "He is not available. It is still the [same] consequence after Arsenal. He has a muscle injury.

"I don’t think [he will be out] too long,” the United manager added. “It’s not really bad and we expect him back quite soon in the team."

United flew to Moldova on Wednesday. Credit: Getty.United flew to Moldova on Wednesday. Credit: Getty.
United flew to Moldova on Wednesday. Credit: Getty.

How will Ten Hag line up?

United are expected to name a strong side on Thursday given they didn’t have a Premier League match last weekend and Sunday’s clash with Leeds United has been postponed. As a result, rotation won’t play a factor in Ten Hag’s selection in Moldova.

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David de Gea is expected to continue in nets, while Wan-Bissaka’s absence should see Diogo Dalot play at right-back.

On the opposite wing, Luke Shaw could return to the side at left-back, although Tyrell Malacia might continue in the team after starting the last five.

Malacia has quickly become first-choice left-back at United. Credit: Getty.Malacia has quickly become first-choice left-back at United. Credit: Getty.
Malacia has quickly become first-choice left-back at United. Credit: Getty.

Ten Hag has four options at centre-back, with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof starting against Sociedad, but first-choice pairing Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez might be restored to the team.

In the middle of the pitch, Christian Eriksen is likely to play alongside Scott McTominay, although Fred and Casemiro are other options. In a more advanced position, Bruno Fernandes seems the most likely to be selected.

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The injuries to Rashford and Martial mean Cristiano Ronaldo is the most obvious option to start up front, but youngster Charlie McNeill has travelled with the squad

On the flanks, it’ll most likely be two of Antony, Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga, with the latter expected to begin on the bench, assuming United select their strongest XI.

United XI: De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia; McTominay, Eriksen, Fernandes; Antony, Ronaldo, Sancho.

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