With the Europa League final on the horizon, Solskjaer has decisions to make in last Premier League outing
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 21: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer of Manchester United speaks during a press conference at Aon Training Complex on May 21, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

With just one Premier League outing remaining, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær has some crucial decisions to make regarding team selection.

The Reds make the trip to the Midlands to take on Wolverhampton Wanderers, knowing that avoiding defeat would ensure only a fourth ever top-flight season unbeaten away from home (for a completionist, the other three were from Preston North End (1889-90), and Arsenal (2001-02 & 2003-04)). 

Solskjær, however, will be keeping one eye on Wednesday's Europa League final - and there are plenty of ways United could line up against Wolves on Sunday afternoon.

  • Reward the kids

Both United's U23 side and their U18 side have enjoyed strong campaigns - the U18s especially, as they narrowly missed out on the league title by a point to rivals Manchester City

Some of the youngsters have enjoyed eye-catching campaigns, such as Hannibal Mejbri and Shola Shoretire, the latter of whom has already made his first-team debut for the Reds this term. 

Solskjær confirmed that both talents will be involved with the squad in some capacity, most likely appearing from the bench. The eighteen-year-old Hannibal won the Denzil Haroun Reserve-Team Player of the Year this week after a tremendous campaign; the creative midfielder is known for his technical ability, and has drawn comparisons to the likes of Jack Grealish, winning many fouls in the Premier League 2.

Another player who could feature is Amad Diallo, who has appeared infrequently since joining in January, but has imposed himself on a number of games in spite of his limited minutes.

  • Let the experience find some form

Since the injury of captain Harry Maguire against Aston Villa a few weeks ago, United's form has dropped completely, with the Reds limping over the line in Premier League action.

However, they are going against a Wolves side that have experienced a difficult campaign, shown by the impending departure of manager Nuno Espírito Santo. 

The two sides often grind out some frustrating football when against each other, and as such, it could be a chance for Solskjær to play a strong team, giving an opportunity for some form to develop after a difficult few weeks.

The likes of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes could start, as a result, but it might not be too surprising for Donny van de Beek to find a rare start, with his experience in European football definitely helpful ahead of the final; Sunday could be a chance for the Dutchman to get some sharpness ahead of the final next week.

It will also be the final chance for Solskjær to pick a goalkeeper that will start in Wednesday's final; David de Gea was solid if unspectacular against Fulham this week, and should have done better for the equaliser. Expect Dean Henderson to be given a run-out after a frustrating outing against Liverpool a week ago, with Solskjær determined to find his next number one.

If United and Solskjær are determined to go the whole campaign unbeaten away from home, they could go strong against Wolves.

  • A chance to gain some sharpness

While Anthony Martial is confirmed to be absent despite hopes of a return, Welsh winger Daniel James could be in-line for some minutes.

The quickness of James could be useful given the hosts play with wing-backs, and as such, he could be able to get in behind on the flanks and cause some damage.

Whether James will be in contention for Wednesday's final is a different question, and depends on whether you consider him one of United's most important players. In fairness, James has enjoyed good games against stronger sides like Manchester City and Leeds United in his United career, but appearing in the Europa League final may be beyond the twenty-three-year-old.

Solskjær's biggest decision will be over the inclusion of Marcus Rashford: the inside-forward has struggled as of late despite his best goalscoring season, with a niggling injury keeping him out of form. United may look towards Mason Greenwood and Pogba for the outside flanks on Wednesday, and as such, Rashford could appear on Sunday.

If Solskjær plans to start Rashford in the final, however, he may receive a rest against Wolves.

On a different note, it could be a chance for United to say farewell to some tenured names such as Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic, with the former out of contract this summer and the latter rumoured to return to former manager Jose Mourinho at AS Roma.

  • Predicted line-up

Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles; Matic, Van de Beek; Amad, Mata, Rashford; Greenwood

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