Astana vs Man Utd preview | Confirmed team news | Expected line-up | Prediction
This is our match preview ahead of Man Utd’s Champions League clash with Astana including team news, line-ups and prediction
An inexperienced Manchester United side will take on Astana in their Europa League group stage clash this afternoon [3.50pm kick off].
United currently sit top of Group L on 10 points – two points ahead of AZ Alkmaar and six ahead of Partizan Belgrade with a better head-to-head record – so they are guaranteed a place in the last-32 of the competition.
With qualification to the knockout stages already in the bag, it makes sense for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to rest his key players ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
Man Utd are languishing down in ninth place in the Premier League table and are nine points off the top four after drawing at Sheffield United at the weekend so the priority has to be on domestic matters.
The likes of David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams, Ashley Young, Fred, Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have all been left back in Manchester to rest.
Paul Pogba continues to recover from an ankle injury while Scott McTominay is also out with an ankle complain so they remain on the sidelines along with Eric Bailly and Diogo Dalot – who are working their way back to fitness.
Manchester United will hand first team debuts to academy players Di’Shon Bernard, Ethan Laird and Dylan Levitt while Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe will get starts as they look to build on their match fitness.
Jesse Lingard will captain the side in Kazakhstan while Mason Greenwood will get another chance to impress after scoring his sixth goal of the season last weekend.
Astana 1-1 Man Utd: United won the reverse fixture 1-0 at Old Trafford and they are yet to concede a goal in the Europa League this season but this is obviously going to be a tricky test for them. While Astana have lost their last six European games the hosts might be quietly confident of getting something today. A young and disjointed United team will be playing in freezing conditions so I think they may have to settle for a draw.