Manchester United are set to square off with Villarreal in the Europa League final on Wednesday evening.
However, the Red Devils will be doing so without their captain – and star centre-back – Harry Maguire, who didn't participate in United's final training session before the clash.
Maguire – who had played every game of the season until his injury – has been MIA for United after he limped off with an ankle injury during their Premier League clash with Aston Villa.
And with Maguire set to miss the final, we decided to have a look at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's best three options.
Option 1 – Axel Tuanzebe and Eric Bailly
Solskjaer's third and fourth choice centre-backs, respectively – and the pair auditioned for a spot in the Europa League final in United's 2-1 win over Wolves at the weekend.
The pair looked comfortable alongside each other, and Bailly – as the older of the pair – has big-game experience in tournament finals with United.
And Tuanzebe doesn't shy away from the bright lights; he put in a career-defining performance against PSG in the Champions League earlier this season.
However, neither one of the pair has made more than 20 appearances in all competitions, and it will be a gamble throwing them in for United's biggest game of the season.
Option 2 – Victor Lindelof and Bailly/Tuanzebe
Victor Lindelof has been Maguire's right-hand man this season, and, as a result, the most likely candidate to start.
The Swede has shaken off any questions about defensive frailties this campaign with coming-of-age performances across the season.
Lindelof has played four games alongside Bailly this season; United only came out on top in one of those fixtures, and they conceded an average of 1.5 goals.
Alongside Tuanzebe, however, he has faired better with a win percentage of 66% over three games, and an average of 0.7 conceded.
Option 3 – Bailly, Tuanzebe, and Lindelof
The unlikeliest of scenarios would see Solskjaer change up his system: in an attempt to cover for the loss of his defensive stalwart.
A three-back system will force Solskjaer's hand with the inclusion of wing-backs, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka's attacking shortcomings could be exposed.
However, it would kill two birds with one stone by solving United's right-wing and centre-back problems.
Whilst based purely on stats Tuanzebe and Lindelof starting is the Red Devils' best option, however, Solskjaer is more likely to pick experience with Bailly and Lindelof.
READ MORE: Man Utd told how risking Harry Maguire could cost them big in Europa League final
READ MORE: Man Utd's 2017 Europa League winning side compared to current team
Source: Read Full Article