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Donny van de Beek starts, Paul Pogba benched and a big goalkeeper decision – How Manchester United could line up against Crystal Palace



A big season starts for Manchester United and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

They’re back in the top four but there is no time to rest on any laurels, their glory-starved supporters are keen for a title challenge with usurping rivals Liverpool and Man City the next target.

Up first for them, after having an extra week off following August’s European exertions, they will face Crystal Palace at Old Trafford – live on talkSPORT.

Solskjaer will have big targets this year

Handout – Getty

Solskjaer will have big targets this year

Only one signing has been made so far this summer, with Donny van de Beek arriving from Ajax.

The £35million midfielder’s role within the side is provoking plenty of attention and some have even questioned whether his arrival could possibly bring about Paul Pogba’s long-rumoured exit.

Steve McClaren told talkSPORT: “Van de Beek is exactly like Frank Lampard in his heyday; he gets in the box, scores, assists, his goal record of one in three is fantastic. He’s an excellent player.

“He’s a little bit similar to Fernandes but I think Fernandes has got that pass that, where Van de Beek is in the box Fernandes will pick him out – Manchester United didn’t have that before.

Solskjaer has added Van de Beek to his squad


Solskjaer has added Van de Beek to his squad

“The only one I probably fear for, and it’s a debate that’s gone for a while, is Paul Pogba.

“Because you can’t play Van de Beek as your controlling, holding midfield player, he’s got to be an ‘eight’ or a ‘ten’, and at the moment Pogba is the ‘eight’ and Fernandes is the ‘ten’.

“Manchester United hope to have lots of games with the Champions League etc and Ole knows you need a strong squad, so maybe, maybe he’s getting three of them so two can play in every game.

“But maybe because of Pogba’s inconsistencies and Ole wanting more consistency there, Ole is laying down the gauntlet for Pogba.”

Pogba might be challenged for his role in the team with Van de Beek arriving


Pogba might be challenged for his role in the team with Van de Beek arriving

Solskjaer hasn’t had it easier despite an appealing summer signing though, missing out on top target Jadon Sancho, for the time being at least.

Forward Mason Greenwood has made headlines for the wrong reasons with his actions on international duty with England, which may be cause for attention.

Meanwhile, the Norwegian now has the dilemma of having two top goalkeepers on his books with Dean Henderson signing a new contract and remaining with the club after his loan spell at Sheffield United.

But will David de Gea retain the No.1 shirt? It’s going to take a big decision to take it away from him.

Donny van de Beek is not coming to Man United to play CDM – Dutch expert Marcel van der Kraan on where £35m signing will fit at Old Trafford

How Manchester United could look against Crystal Palace

Solskjaer has, in general, a healthy squad to pick from, according to initial reports.

Pogba is a possible absentee due to fitness concerns after a bout of coronavirus, but this may enable summer signing Van de Beek to make his bow after an unofficial debut against Aston Villa in a friendly at the weekend.

Elsewhere, Greenwood may not start depending on his manager’s feeling following his discipline issues with England.

Greenwood during his first England cap against Iceland

Getty Images – Getty

Greenwood during his first England cap against Iceland

Martial and Rashford are almost guaranteed starters, while Scott McTominay could get the nod ahead of Nemanja Matic and Fred alongside Van de Beek as the holding central midfielder.

The backline is likely to similar to the one we saw at the end of last season, although Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof are currently tussling to be Maguire’s partner.

Meanwhile, between the sticks, De Gea may well get the first go, ahead of Henderson, but one slip and he’ll be for the chop.

This weekend you can hear FOUR Premier League games exclusively live on talkSPORT, including Manchester United v Crystal Palace, Arsenal v West Ham, and Southampton v Tottenham