In pictures: Man Utd v Villarreal
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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will almost certainly have to rotate his squad to face Everton on Saturday following a quick turnaround from their Champions League win over Villarreal. Three areas in particular will give the United boss food for thought on his team selection.
The Red Devils are just one point adrift of table-toppers Liverpool after six Premier League games.
Heading into the international break, Solskjaer will be keen to pick up all three points following disappointing defeats to West Ham in the Carabao Cup and Aston Villa last weekend.
They were far from their best against Villarreal as well with Cristiano Ronaldo proving to be the hero deep into stoppage time.
The Spanish side dominated United in the opening 45 minutes and if not for David de Gea and some poor finishing, they would have been out of sight.
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The win over Villarreal though gives United some confidence heading into their fixture against Everton, who have also enjoyed a strong start in the league.
But Solskjaer has already been dealt a blow in his preparations for the match as Luke Shaw is unlikely to feature.
The Manchester Evening News report that Shaw is still suffering from an illness he picked up last week and he may not be available for selection.
Alex Telles deputised for Shaw against Villarreal though and impressed, particularly with his wonder-strike from outside the box.
More pressing for Solskjaer will be what he chooses to do with Ronaldo in the starting line-up.
The Norwegian head coach admitted after Ronaldo’s arrival that he would have to manage his minutes.
Other than being subbed off against Young Boys two weeks ago and being rested in the Carabao Cup against West Ham, Ronaldo has played every minute since making his second debut against Newcastle.
The game against Everton would be Ronaldo’s third match in under seven days having already played over 180 minutes of football.
There’s been no question of Ronaldo’s fitness though following his dramatic winner against Villarreal.
And Ronaldo may well be able to get some rest when heading out on international duty with Portugal.
Edinson Cavani is now back and available though, giving Solskjaer another option should he choose to drop Ronaldo from the starting line-up.
Finally, Solskjaer’s decision not to bring on Donny van de Beek against Villarreal was met with fury by the midfielder on Wednesday.
The Dutchman has cut a frustrated figure all season having found minutes hard to come by so far.
Solskjaer didn’t want Van de Beek to leave in the summer as he felt the midfielder had a role to play this season.
But he’ll have to stick to his words if he wants to keep the 24-year-old from pushing for an exit in January.
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