Solskjaer confirms rare line-up change for Granada; warns of ‘lazy’ Man Utd issue

Date published: Wednesday 14th April 2021 1:51 - Jonny Whitfield

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Man Utd press conference December 2019

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that centre-back Axel Tuanzebe will start Thursday’s Europa League clash with Granada.

United head into the second leg of their European quarter-final with a solid 2-0 advantage. Marcus Rashford netted in the first half, before Bruno Fernandes slotted a late penalty. Therefore, the onus is on their Spanish opponents to force a sizeable turnaround at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils‘ solid cushion means that Solskjaer will make changes for Thursday’s clash.

He told reporters at his pre-match press conference (via the Manchester Evening News): “We have to make sure we go through, I always pick a team I think will win a game.

“We will go into the game wanting to win this. We want to improve our performances. There will be a few changes, yeah. Some forced, some rotation.”

However, asked if he will rest players who are close to a suspension if his team get through, he said: “No. We go into game having to do everything we need to do to win.

“We don’t want any lazy yellow cards, just play the game properly.”

Tuanzebe is one player who is in line to receive a rare appearance. The 23-year-old will make only his 15th appearance in all competitions this season.

Indeed, he has struggled for minutes behind the first-choice defensive pairing of Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

What’s more, Eric Bailly has played his part, but will not feature on Thursday following a period of self-isolation after contracting coronavirus.

Solskjaer hails Tuanzebe’s Man Utd work

Eric Bailly, Axel Tuanzebe Everton v Man Utd December 2020

“Axel has always been a very positive and hard-working boy,” Solskjaer said of the Englishman.

“Victor and Harry have formed a very, very good partnership, Eric’s come in and played really well when he’s played.

“So his chances have been limited, but he’s been training well and he’s ready for this opportunity. “I don’t think [the social media abuse] affected him.”

United will face either Ajax or Roma if they progress to the semi-finals, where they exited the competition last season.

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