Man Utd have three players who can show Ole Gunnar Solskjaer up in Young Boys clash
Rangnick reflects on first win as Man Utd manager
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Manchester United go up against Young Boys tonight with their passage to the Champions League knockout stages already assured. With that the case, Ralf Rangnick has promised to tinker with his side – especially with such a hectic fixture schedule looming. Therefore, three players may get the chance to show Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to regularly leave them out was the wrong one to make.
United haven’t always been convincing in the Champions League this season.
Yet they’re recovered from a defeat to Young Boys in their Champions League opener to pick up 10 points and top the group with just one fixture remaining.
Rangnick is now the man in the Old Trafford dugout, with United choosing to sack Solskjaer last month following a dismal run of form.
The German has promised Donny van de Beek will start the contest, having left the Netherlands international out of his starting XI for Sunday’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
And the Dutchman, out of all the players included in the club, will be looking to prove Solskjaer wrong.
Solskjaer wanted United to land Jack Grealish from Aston Villa last year but, when it became apparent the midfielder would cost in the region of £75million at the time, they went for Van de Beek instead.
The 24-year-old netted on his debut, a 3-1 defeat to Crystal Palace.
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But he started just four Premier League matches before Solskjaer’s sacking, regularly being left on the bench instead.
Towards the end of the Norwegian’s tenure, Van de Beek’s patience was clearly starting to wear thin.
His agent talked up a move to Everton, who had been eager to sign him on loan during the summer transfer window.
But Van de Beek now has a second chance, a real opportunity to prove what he can do.
He experienced success in the Champions League with Ajax in 2019, helping the Eredivisie giants reach the semi-finals under Erik ten Hag.
If Van de Beek can rediscover the form that once put him in the orbit of Real Madrid, Solskjaer can be proven wrong.
Likewise with Jesse Lingard.
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The England international was suffering in January before getting a loan move to West Ham, where he scored nine goals from 14 league appearances.
Lingard has impressed when given the chance for United this term yet, with Solskjaer having so many attackers at his disposal, the playmaker wasn’t given a run of games.
With his contract winding down, United need to start giving him some more action.
That’s likely to start with Young Boys tonight and Lingard, should he shine, will be another to show exactly why so many fans have been clamouring for him to start.
Eric Bailly also has a big night ahead.
The Ivory Coast international can be erratic but he’s certainly deserved more chances, especially with Harry Maguire so inconsistent.
Bailly’s power and pace makes him popular for United supporters, while also making him a tricky opponent for rival teams.
Solskjaer went with Maguire and Victor Lindelof for the majority of his time in the dugout.
Yet Bailly now has the stage to endear himself to Rangnick, who is keen to get to know the players more as he adjusts to life in Manchester.
“I need to get to know also the other players who didn’t play against Crystal Palace,” he said on Friday.
“It’s also wise, at this stage of the season with a crowded fixture list in the next weeks and months, to rest a few players.
“As you saw, the way we played against Crystal Palace was high intensity and it’s not so easy to play on that level with the same group of players every three days.
“So, for me, it absolutely makes sense to do some rotation; even more so in a game we still want to win.
“Our ethos is we have to win games at Manchester United but it’s not that much with regard to the group phase and what’s at stake for us.
“So it makes sense to give other players a chance to present themselves.”
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