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Europa League

AC Milan v Man United: The Defence Dilemma

Manchester United’s Europa League last 16 tie against AC Milan on Thursday promises to be a cracker. United head to the San Siro needing to win, or requiring a draw of 2-2 or higher, to reach the quarter-finals.

AC Milan equalizing goal

Milan equalized with virtually the last kick of the match and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to get his team selection right and doing so won’t be straightforward.The selection calls are made tougher by a FA Cup quarter-final days later against Leicester City and these are two games which could define United’s entire season. One department he has to get right is in defense with Milan welcoming most of their first choice attackers.

Some of these decisions Solskjaer has to get right for the San Siro trip involve:

Luke Shaw or Alex Telles?

United have a big decision to make at left-back. Summer signing Alex Telles has played every match of the Europa League knockout rounds since signing, with Luke Shaw getting a rest in this competition. This has in turn enabled Shaw to play at a top level at the weekends which has worked a treat so far.

Solskjaer has to decide whether to go with Shaw, for this decisive game or stick with Telles, who has kept clean sheets in two of the three Europa league games. He has been keeping both happy up until now though is a big test for him now. If Shaw starts here, does this mean Telles will get the FA Cup quarter-final – or could the in-form England international get picked for both matches?

Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly?

Eric Bailly has played all three Europa League games this season and he has done really well. In the previous season Bailly was dropped for Victor Lindelof for the semi-final against Sevilla despite starting in every previous knockout round match.

United were consequently eliminated and now it will be interesting to see if Solskjaer would risk repeating it, or will he show some faith in Eric Bailly when it really counts? It may make sense for Solskjaer to stick with Bailly here and use Lindelof against Leicester, but the reverse could be possible if the boss wants Bailly’s pace to combat Jamie Vardy.

Dean Henderson or David de Gea?

Dean Henderson has been United’s cup goalkeeper this season and performed very well. However David de Gea is back available now after missing the last three Premier League games, and it is likely the Spaniard will play one of these two matches.

Henderson will want to be given the chance to finish what he has started against Milan, although his place is not certain. De Gea’s big game experience could be vital.

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AC Milan Alex Telles Europa League San Siro Solskjaer


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