Manchester United XI will face Sheriff in the Europa League

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Manchester United travel to Moldova on Thursday evening in a bid to put their Europa League campaign back on track after losing to Real Sociedad.

Erik ten Hag’s side were unable to transfer their excellent league form to the Europa League and now find themselves playing catch-up in order to qualify for the knockout stages.

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Manchester United were beaten by Real Sociedad in the Europa League opener last week

A trip to Sheriff Tiraspol will not be an easy task for Ten Hag’s men – who will see the Europa League as a secondary route to Champions League football, if they fail to qualify in the top flight.

Some members of the squad know what it takes to win the grueling competition and were part of Jose Mourinho’s side that lifted the trophy in Stockholm five years ago.

Alternatively, Sheriff knows how to topple a European giant after their heroic 2-1 win at Real Madrid last September.

United’s loss at home to Real Sociedad last Thursday ended the club’s four-game winning streak, but it also coincided with Ten Hag stepping away from his winning line-up in order to use d other members of his team.

The Red Devils were both abject and unlucky against the La Liga side and a repeat of Thursday’s scoreline would put pressure on a side who are among the favorites to lift the trophy in Budapest next May.

With United’s Premier League clash at home to Leeds postponed on Sunday, Ten Hag could be looking to play a stronger team than he previously expected.

Manchester United tasted Europa League success in 2017 under Jose Mourinho

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Manchester United tasted Europa League success in 2017 under Jose Mourinho

Moldovan side Sheriff did the unthinkable last season by beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu

AFP

Moldovan side Sheriff did the unthinkable last season by beating Real Madrid at the Bernabeu


The club’s next game won’t be until after the international break when Manchester City travel to Old Trafford on October 2.

David de Gea is set to continue in goal despite the arrival of Martin Dubravka from Newcastle United.

Ten Hag looks set to ban Harry Maguire to the bench again after his appearance against Sociedad.

Victor Lindelof is also expected to make way for first-choice pairing Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane minutes, with their last outing against Arsenal on September 4.

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire could be set for another spell on the bench

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Manchester United captain Harry Maguire could be set for another spell on the bench

A rejuvenated Diogo Dalot is expected to retain his place at right-back ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka while Tyrell Malacia looks set to retain his place at left-back ahead of Luke Shaw.

The in-form Scott McTominay rested last week and may have to make way for Casemiro again for the trip to Moldova. Christian Eriksen will complete the central midfield duo.

Ten Hag’s biggest dilemma is which three players to choose in front of his midfield duo.

The Dutchman is likely to stay with Cristiano Ronaldo in the lead, with the Portuguese star missing minutes after being dropped following United’s 4-0 loss at Brentford last month.

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to keep his place for Thursday's Europa League trip to Tiraspol

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Cristiano Ronaldo is set to keep his place for Thursday’s Europa League trip to Tiraspol

With Ronaldo leading the Red Devils attack, Ten Hag has an embarrassment of riches at his disposal with Antony, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Elanga all in contention for a start.

Fernandes is likely to line up behind Ronaldo with Sancho and Antony either side of the vice-captain as United go in search of their first group win.

This is how Manchester United could line up against Sheriff on Thursday

This is how Manchester United could line up against Sheriff on Thursday

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