It’s only been a week since the players returned to Carrington for pre-season, but preparations for the first encounter of the summer are already begun.
Manchester United will meet Leeds in the Norwegian capital of Oslo on Wednesday at 4 p.m. UK time.
This is the first of eight pre-season matches for Manchester United, with under-21 players set to be mixed in.
Half of the team is available.
Manchester United are without nearly half of their first-team roster, with all of the players who took part in the June international friendlies still missing owing to extended vacations.
While they will begin to return later this week, it is unclear whether any will be able to play in Oslo without any experience on the training pitch at Carrington.
Erik Ten Hag still has a great set of players from which to choose. He is likely to start with a strong lineup and then rotate in younger players in the second half like he did in the winter friendlies against Cadiz and Real Betis.
Ten Hag can still depend on some major names as part of the group, with some high-profile players missing international games in June due to injury or national team retirement.
The strongest possible XI
Manchester United’s goalkeeping situation needs to be addressed, as the club is currently without a number one after David de Gea’s departure.
Dean Henderson is technically United’s finest goalkeeper, but with a deal to Nottingham Forest in the works, it would be surprising if he appeared in this game.
We expect Tom Heaton to start this game, and he’ll be happy to have a pair of World Cup winners in front of him.
A new fit Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez are both available. Erik Ten Hag will benefit greatly from having his first-choice defensive pairing ready from the start.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who will play right back, will be another pillar of his defense.
The position of left-back is up for grabs against Leeds. Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia are still absent, as is Diogo Dalot.
Brandon Williams is expected to make his debut as he attempts to rebuild his career. Many supporters would want to watch Alvaro Fernandez, who is expected to play in the second half.
Manchester United’s midfield will be similarly improvised, with so many regulars absent.
Despite being linked with exits from Old Trafford, Fred, and Donny van de Beek could start this friendly. This is their chance to get in the shop window before Ten Hag starts some young players in the second half.
Mason Mount, United’s new number seven, will be the main attraction, injecting some energy into the middle.
Amad and Kobbie Mainoo could appear in the second half. Isak Hansen-Aaroen, Shola Shoretire, Hannibal, and Charlie Savage will all vie for playing time, while Marc Jurado and Rhs Bennett may see action on defense.
Erik Ten Hag can draw on three veteran players in attack, all of whom have a lot to prove.
Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial, and Antony are set to lead the charge in Norway and try to kickstart their seasons.