Harry Maguire’s likely absence due to an ankle injury gives Ole Gunnar Solskjaer a big decision on who will start alongside Victor Lindelof at center-back, while the goalkeeper and d right winger are up for grabs.
Control will be on Solskjaer in those crucial calls ahead of kick-off against the Spanish team in Gdansk on Wednesday night. United are on the hunt for their first silverware under the Norwegian, and since winning the Europa League in 2017.
Here, our MEN United editors choose their teams for the final:
David de Gea deserves to start, as does Axel Tuanzebe. Tuanzebe has started in three of the last four games and has been more composed than Eric Bailly. It’s a big call – provided Maguire is out – but Bailly’s experience isn’t convincing enough to give him the edge over Tuanzebe.
Scott McTominay and Fred will return and Mason Greenwood deserves a place in the top four. Marcus Rashford will likely get the nod to the right, but Greenwood is the more suitable option and has been in better shape.
There isn’t a lot of debate to be had about this United squad but one of the most contested ones is in goal. After his heroic performance in Rome, I think it’s fair for De Gea to start, but that shouldn’t guarantee his No.1 status for next season. In front of De Gea, the decision to replace Maguire is difficult. Tuanzebe made his way in the past two weeks, but Bailly’s experience won him the decision.
The fitness for the midfield duo must be Fred and McTominay. He may be slightly cautious against a side United should really expect to beat, but the fact that this is a final makes their energy and positional diligence worthy of attribute. In front of them, Fernandes will be responsible for pulling the strings as usual.
Pogba’s influence from a left-wing role has been impressive recently and he has to start the final from that position, with Cavani the obvious choice at the center-forward. This leaves Greenwood and Rashford to fight for the role on the right. I would choose Greenwood given his superior form translates into a goal threat at the moment with Rashford ready to make an impact from the bench.
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The only real debates are in the goal, center-back and starting on both flanks, with fairly sure that Fred, McTominay, Shaw, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Fernandes and Cavani will all start. The central midfielder’s suit won’t be popular with some fans, but it’s necessary in the final, especially without Maguire’s safety at the back.
De Gea secured the right to start the final with his excellent performance in the semi-final second leg against Roma, while Tuanzebe has done enough in the last two league games to get ahead of Eric Bailly.
Greenwood on the right and Pogba on the left is a much more appealing proposition than putting on Rashford on the right flank and leaving Greenwood on the bench. Rashford can still be an impact sub ahead, if the game needs second half attacking momentum.