Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains why Donny van de Beek makes first Champions League start for Manchester United

Donny van de Beek makes his first Champions League start for Manchester United (Picture: Getty)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made five changes to his Manchester United side that stunned Paris Saint-Germain in their last Champions League clash, with Donny van de Beek starting for his new club for the first time in the competition.

Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay all started United’s previous matches with PSG and Chelsea but all three drop to the substitutes bench at Old Trafford this evening, with Solskjaer keen to rest the trio.

Van de Beek completed a £35million switch from Ajax to United back in August and scored on his United debut against Crystal Palace but has had to be patient for first-team opportunities under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Fernandes and Rashford drop to the bench at Old Trafford (Picture: Getty)

The Netherlands international is yet to start a match in the Premier League but will be delighted to get the chance to impress alongside Paul Pogba in the middle of the park this evening.

On Van de Beek and Pogba starting the Group H clash, Solskjaer told BT Sport: ‘They’ve been waiting in the wings and we picked a team that we think can cause Leipzig problems tonight.

Asked why Fernandes and Rashford only start on the bench, he explained: ‘Bruno and Marcus have played the last five – or they’ve played three for us and played two internationals – Scott has played the last three plus three internationals.

‘So five games in 14 days, six games in 17 for Scotty. You’ve got to look after the players.

‘You’ve got to look after the players and medically that’s what we deemed right today.’

The United head coach is wary of a ‘high-tempo’ Leipzig side that remain unbeaten in all competitions this season.

‘They’re Very high tempo, high energy, tactically very adept and you never know how he’s going to set his team up,’ Solskjaer said.

‘We have to cause them more problems than they cause us.’

‘We picked the team that we think can win the game and cause them problems.

‘I always pick a team that I think can win the game.’


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