Manchester United return to action on Sunday in the FA Cup as they seek a place in the next round of the FA Cup.
The Red Devils travel to Wales to face League Two side Newport County at Rodney Parade, in front of an optimistic home crowd that will be looking for an upset against a United side who last played competitive football in a 2-2 draw against Tottenham Hotspur’s on 14 January.
Newport manager Graham Coughlan is an avid Manchester United fan, and will be leading his team out on Sunday as the second lowest placed side still remaining in the FA Cup - after Maidstone United.
Erik Ten Hag’s side have not yet lost in 2024, but neither have been massively convincing. A 2-0 win in the 3rd Round against Wigan Athletic was routine, but should have been more given how strong a team was fielded that day. A more inspiring 2-2 draw against Spurs followed, but was disappointing when taking into consideration the amount of injuries that Ange Postecoglu’s side had.
United will be looking to kick on and are overdue in giving a trashing to a team. With many first teasers likely to feature due to United’s lack of sharpness and gametime in recent weeks, a strong side should not be put to test at a great level barring an absolute calamity at the expense of Ten Hag’s future.
Here is the expected lineup against Newport County:
Altay Bayindir is in-line to make his belated debut for Manchester United, as André Onana is at the Workd Cup.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka should start at right-back due to low availability of fullbacks in the side.
Raphael Varane is expected to start in his preferred right sided centre-back role with the return of Lisandro Martinez being gradualised.
Willy Kambwala should offer some rotation against the League Two side after featuring in recent matches for the side.
Diogo Dalot, who scored in the last round, is expected to start ahead of Luke Shaw, who is back in training.
Casemiro was on the bench against Spurs and could be in line for his first match in a red shirt for quite some time.
Kobbie Mainoo could play and feature as part of the pre-season midfield that Ten Hag experimented in the summer with.
Amad Diallo could be afforded an opportunity to showcase his talent in an United shirt on the right wing.
Bruno Fernandes is hardly ever rested and will likely captain the side out on Sunday.
Marcus Rashford has had an upwards turn in form recently and is expected to carry on the momentum to boost his confidence and shooting boots.
Rasmus Højlund is another player who has found his knack for goals in red, after scoring in United’s last game vs Spurs.