3-5-2: Strongest Manchester United lineup to face Real Madrid, Mkhitaryan starts

Manchester United will take on European rivals Real Madrid in the European Super Cup on Tuesday. The Red Devils had a good pre-season with five wins in seven appearances – excluding the penalty shootout triumph over Los Blancos. The three-at-the-back formation looks the way forward for United, and Mourinho will have his first real test at the Philip II Arena in Skopje, Macedonia.

Formation: 3-5-2


Sergio Romero was the first-choice in the Europa League last term, but Mourinho is likely to rotate his options this season with De Gea likely to get a crack at Champions League football. Given the momentous occasion, De Gea could be tipped to start in goal.

The central defence is more or less sorted out with Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind set to take up their positions. Both Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have been offered two-game European suspensions, and this leaves the backline thin, should there be any fitness issues.

Antonio Valencia is a certainty to start at right wing-back whilst Matteo Darmian could take up the left wing-back spot ahead of Jesse Lingard, who appeared to suffer from muscle fatigue earlier this month.

Summer recruit Nemanja Matic lasted for 47 minutes during his competitive debut against Sampdoria, and he is likely to stake a claim for a place alongside the likes of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba – the latter who could be offered a free role.

The frontline has seen plenty of changes during pre-season but Mourinho will probably choose to go with his main striker Romelu Lukaku alongside Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has been in good touch with three goals and as many assists in pre-season.


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