LONDON – Manchester United's Europa League match at Astana is the ideal opportunity for the Premier League club to field youngsters in a top level game as they have already qualified for the knockout stages, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Wednesday.
With 10 points from four games, Group L leaders United are assured of a place in the last-32 and Solskjaer said it was “common sense” to rest most of their senior players while a number of youngsters expected to make their senior debut.
“We have done great to qualify after four games and it gives us an opportunity to give game time to experienced lads who need it,” Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Thursday's encounter.
“Axel (Tuanzebe), Luke (Shaw), Jesse (Lingard)... have not played too many games. It's a great chance to give (36-year-old goalkeeper) Lee Grant his first start for the club.
“It's hard to give young kids games against men... This is a great chance to see them all together. You'll see (Ethan) Laird, (Di'Shon) Bernard and (Dylan) Levitt from the start so you'll definitely get a few (debuts).”