When Manchester United plays Sheriff Tiraspol in Group E on Thursday night, they will want to at least get the point they need to advance to the Europa League knockout rounds.
The visitors from Moldova to Old Trafford are now in third place in their group with just one victory, three points behind Real Sociedad, who are unbeaten.
Despite losing to Real Sociedad at Old Trafford on September 8, the Red Devils haven’t lost two group-stage European games in a single campaign at the Theatre of Dreams since the 1996–97 Champions League. The Red Devils are unbeaten in their previous six games overall.
Sheriff Tiraspol’s recent switch to a three-man backline has not had the desired impact. Although the Moldovan powerhouses started their Europa League campaign with an impressive 3-0 victory over Omonia, they have since found it difficult to compete with the Group E heavyweights.
Sheriff has since lost twice to Real Sociedad by an aggregate score of 5-0, following a 2-0 defeat by Man United on matchday two. Any slim hopes the visitors have of moving on to the knockout rounds will be dashed if they lose at Old Trafford.
Man United defeated Sheriff 2-0 earlier this season, and the new manager’s arrival cannot come soon enough for a Sheriff team still suffering from Tomas’s untimely departure. Jadon Sancho and the recently fired Cristiano Ronaldo both scored.
While Anthony Martial, Brandon Williams, and Axel Tuanzebe are still out, Donny van de Beek, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, and Harry Maguire are all still in the running. In order to complete qualification as quickly as possible, Ten Hag should stay with a first-choice XI.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw; Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Fernandes, Sancho; Rashford
Sheriff Tiraspol possible starting lineup:
Celeadnic; Kiki, Radeljic, Kpozo; Guedes, Badolo, Salifu, Heron; Akanbi, Vizeu, Atiemwen
- Location: Manchester, England
- Stadium: Old Trafford
- Date: Thursday 27 October
- Kick-off Time: 20:00 BST / 15:00 EST / 12:00 PST
- VAR: Marco Fritz (GER)
- Referee: Anastasios Sidiropoulos (GRE)