Manchester United are at the business end of the UEFA Europa League with eyes on the trophy as they enter the final, favourites in everyone's books to secure final success once again. The Red Devils face a Villarreal side who have pushed above their own expectations to make the final in Gdansk.
United beat A.S. Roma 8-5 in aggregate over two legs in the semi-finals of the competition to make sure they progressed to the final of the European competition. A mauling of 6-3 on home turf for the Red Devils in the first leg put United in the driving seat with one foot in the final.
Two goals apiece from Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani gave United a huge advantage as they finished the job in the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico, although they did lose 3-2 on the night, Cavani grabbing the headlines with a much needed brace to nullify any chances of Roma progressing through with an upset. Below is all you need to know ahead of the Europa League final contest in Gdansk.
What team will Solskjaer select ahead of the massive game?
Solskjaer has offered a pessimistic update on the availability of Harry Maguire, who continues to battle back from an ankle injury but is now considered unlikely to be passed fit for the final. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof should therefore partner up in defence while Phil Jones misses out once more, and David De Gea is expected to get the nod in goal over Dean Henderson.
Aaron Wan Bisakka and Luke Shaw will take up their regular spots in defence after being granted rests against Wolves, while Fred was not involved due to a minor knock but should be fine to man the midfield alongside Scott McTominay. Anthony Martial is out, but a complete overhaul of the front line should see Amad Diallo and Daniel James make way for Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba, the latter playing in his newfound left hand side role once more.
Juan Mata, despite his winner at Molineux, has no chance of keeping his place over Fernandes who has been impeccable this season in a United shirt. Mason Greenwood and Cavani are both well-rested and desperate for the chance to spearhead the attack, but with five goals in his last three European outings, the veteran Uruguayan should be given the nod against his former boss Unai Emery.
22 Nov 2005, Manchester United v Villarreal, (D) 0-0, UEFA Champions League.
17 Sep 2008, Manchester United v Villarreal, (D) 0-0, UEFA Champions League.
Possible starting XI?
De Gea; Wan-Bisakka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Rashford, Fernandes, Pogba, Cavani.