Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has changed his entire Manchester United XI for the trip to Astana, naming seven teenagers from the start in the Europa League.

United drew 3-3 at Sheffield United on Sunday, but none of the players in the line-up at Bramall Lane even made the matchday squad on Thursday.

Ethan Laird, 18, Di'Shon Bernard, 19, and Dylan Levitt, 19, were all handed full senior debuts as expected.

United have also called on James Garner, 18, Tahith Chong, 19, Angel Gomes, 19, and Mason Greenwood, 18.

Axel Tuanzebe, stand-in captain Jesse Lingard and Greenwood all came off the bench against Sheffield United and are promoted into the starting XI, while Luke Shaw plays for the first time since August.

The Red Devils have not named as many teenagers in an XI since Opta records began.

The next-most saw five United players under the age of 20 in the team against Burton Albion in the EFL Cup in 2005.

With an average age of 22 years and 26 days, United's team is the youngest they have ever named for a match in major European competition, excluding qualifiers.

As Solskjaer revealed earlier in the week, there would be further debuts from the bench, with each of the seven substitutes academy players.

Max Taylor was among them a little over a year after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

United have already secured their place in the Europa League last 32 but can clinch top spot in Group L if they win and AZ, playing Partizan Belgrade, do not.

Jesse Lingard described it as a "massive honour" to learn he will captain Manchester United in the Europa League match against Astana.

With qualification to the knockout rounds already secure, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken a team of mostly Under-23 and Under-18 players to Kazakhstan for Thursday's match.

Lingard, Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe are set to be given much-needed minutes following struggles for form and fitness this season, while 36-year-old goalkeeper Lee Grant will make his first start for the club.

Solskjaer has already confirmed Di'Shon Bernard, Ethan Laird and Dylan Levitt are to make their debuts in what is expected to be a hugely inexperienced side.

Lingard is delighted to be given the chance in a leadership role as United go in search of a win to keep them top of Group L.

"It's a massive honour," he told MUTV.

"I said at the start of the season that I'd like to be more of a leader-type, on and off the field, being one of the more senior players in the squad, so it's a perfect time to show that.

"It's a great honour to be captain and great to be leading the lads. I know them inside-out. They train with us pretty much every day, so you see the talent every day.

"I know we've qualified but the mentality is to win the game and that's how we're going to prepare for it."

Lingard has endured a difficult year in terms of form in 2019, losing his place in United's starting line-up and in the England squad and spending three weeks out with a hamstring injury.

He helped to change the game at Sheffield United last Sunday, though, making a positive impact as the visitors fought from 2-0 to draw 3-3 at Bramall Lane.

Solskjaer thinks the 26-year-old is showing signs of being back to his usual self.

"He's a very good character in this group," he told MUTV. "He's had his challenges over the last few months but he's really coming back into his own now. I feel we're getting Jesse back."

Nuno Espirito Santo says he will not be distracted over "not real" speculation he could be in line to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal.

Emery is under increasing pressure after a run of six games without a win in all competitions, with reports he is facing the sack.

Nuno, meanwhile, continues to burnish his reputation with Wolves fifth in the Premier League, three places above the Gunners, and on the brink of the Europa League knockout stages.

The Portuguese manager was unwilling to be drawn on the speculation at a news conference on Wednesday.

"[Rumours] are not a distraction," Nuno said.

"You know me. I don't talk about ifs, I don't talk about possibilities, I don't talk about things that are not real.

"I think you know me well enough and you know that I'm not going to answer about that. 

"I will never mention an issue that's not a reality. Mainly because the job has a manager in it. It would be disrespectful."

Asked if he was happy at Wolves, Nuno added: "I think we are doing okay. 

"It requires a lot of work and every day is a chance to improve and this is what we want to do all together."

Wolves and Arsenal are both in Europa League action on Thursday, with Nuno's side away to Braga while the Gunners host Eintracht Frankfurt.

Eyebrows were raised when media reports began circulating on Tuesday claiming Manchester United were taking no fewer than 14 teenagers to Kazakhstan for their penultimate Europa League group game against Astana.

United have already secured a place in the next phase of the competition, so Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was always likely to include a few extra youngsters in the travelling party.

Nevertheless, an 18-man selection that includes only four senior players is not what most would have expected, though it does provide a little extra intrigue ahead of a game that is by no means vital.

Solskjaer confirmed in his pre-match news conference on Wednesday that Ethan Laird, Dylan Levitt and Di'Shon Bernard will all start the match.

Below, we have the lowdown on the teenage trio.

Ethan Laird, 18 – right-back

If Laird sounds familiar, that may be because Solskjaer namechecked him as early as last season, regarding him as among the club's most talented youngsters. The right-back, who is 18, has been unfortunate with injuries, but he travelled with the squad to Belgrade last month.

An athletic and technically proficient attack-minded full-back, Laird is likely to get further chances to impress this season if he continues to develop as expected, having become a key player for the Under-23s.

Dylan Levitt, 19 – central midfielder

While comparisons with Paul Scholes may be a little unfair on Levitt, it is easy to see how they started. A ball-playing midfielder, Levitt has an eye-catching style in possession and a knack of unlocking defences with disguised throughballs.

Passing is the 19-year-old's strong point and, given United's lack of depth in midfield, it is somewhat surprising Levitt is still waiting for his debut. Capped at youth level by Wales, he has even been called up to Ryan Giggs' senior squad, though a first cap has eluded him so far.

Di'Shon Bernard, 19 – centre-back

Axel Tuanzebe looks set to start at centre-back and alongside him will be Di'Shon Bernard. The 19-year-old joined from Chelsea in 2017 after a positive trial period and has progressed steadily.

He began to feature for the Under-23s in 2018-19 and is now a regular. United tied the Londoner down until 2022 earlier this year.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed he will hand first senior starts to academy trio Ethan Laird, Di'Shon Bernard and Dylan Levitt in Manchester United's Europa League clash with Astana on Thursday.

United have travelled to Kazakhstan knowing they are already assured of a place in the knockout phase of the competition, having taken 10 points from their four matches.

With the Red Devils still nine points adrift of the top four in the Premier League, Solskjaer has taken the opportunity to rest key players and thus taken an extremely young squad to Nur-Sultan.

While United have not confirmed the full squad, it has been reported 14 of the 18 are teenagers.

James Garner, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood have all been photographed and are expected to feature, but Solskjaer confirmed defenders Laird and Bernard along with midfielder Levitt shall all be in the starting XI, while third-choice goalkeeper Lee Grant will be between the posts.

"For me this is a game for Man United that we're looking forward to," Solskjaer told reporters on Wednesday.

"You're going to see debuts from some of the younger players. It's a fantastic opportunity for me to see them, to see them perform.

"As I said, with Lee [Grant], the most professional athlete you could see. To have Sergio [Romero] and David [De Gea] ahead of him and knowing he has two of the best goalkeepers in the world to challenge him, to give him his first start is fantastic.

"So, for me, I'm looking for to it and it's a chance to see them together.

"It will obviously be Lee's first start. You're going to see Ethan Laird, you're going to see Di'Shon Bernard and Dylan Levitt from the start.

"The subs that come on, that will be their debuts. You'll get definitely a few [debutants].

"It [the decision to take much-changed squad] is common sense. We've done great to qualify after four games, so it gives us an opportunity to give game time to the experienced lads who need it.

"Axel [Tuanzebe], Luke [Shaw], Jesse [Lingard], they've not had too many games since coming back from injuries.

"It's a great chance for me to give Lee his first start for the club, and it's hard with the young kids to give them enough games against men in professional games.

"We've got the EFL Trophy and for me this is a great chance to see them all together."

Another player United have revealed to be in the travelling party is centre-back Max Taylor, who is set for his maiden first-team involvement after undergoing cancer treatment.

Solskjaer sees the 19-year-old as an inspiration and is thrilled to give him such an opportunity.

"It's a fantastic story to see him come back," Solskjaer said. "I met Max very early after I got the job and to have seen his journey to full fitness… The way he has conducted himself, it's something he'll always have with him.

"He's been through something that no one should go through, but he's come through the other end and he's an inspiration for all the other players.

"You can see now, when he goes out onto the pitch, there is no fear in him. He's allowed to have had fear in his life, [but] when you're out on the pitch, you should enjoy yourself and I hope we can see him progress in his career. It's a chance for us to give him some extra motivation."

Unai Emery is adamant the Arsenal players still have belief in him and suggested Granit Xhaka will return to the team on Thursday for the first time since clashing with supporters.

The Gunners are without a win in six games in all competitions, with fan frustration hitting new heights in recent weeks.

Emery is reportedly close to being dismissed, with Wolves' Nuno Espirito Santo said to be among those in the running to replace him, though the former Paris Saint-Germain and Sevilla boss insists he is only thinking about Thursday's visit of Frankfurt.

Arsenal head into the match top of Europa League Group F with 10 points and Emery is calling on supporters to back the Gunners and specifically Xhaka, who has not played since a confrontation with fans in the clash with Crystal Palace on October 27.

"They are angry and disappointed, as well we are. We have a very good opportunity to [correct] do that," he told reporters.

"Each match here at the Emirates is very important for that... The players need to feel [fans] backing them.

"Xhaka is in the group and he has the possibility to play. I hope every supporter supports him. Xhaka's comeback is going to be important for us."

It has been reported that Emery's relationship with some of his players has fallen apart, with the Basque coach said to have had a row with Alexandre Lacazette, though he has no doubt the squad is behind him.

When asked if the players still believe in him, Emery said: "Yes, of course, they show that.

"As a coach each moment in my career is difficult. This is a very good, but very hard job. When you are winning you feel the support for everybody.

"I believe in us, I believe in the players. I know I am going to work very hard to come back to the performance.

"I am looking forward to playing. In the good moments, the bad moments, the most important thing for me is to show my work.

"Our confidence depends a lot on how we can feel in our stadium with our supporters. Teams are coming here playing fearless. We need to be strong and together. We need to show our supporters our capacity and skills."

Manchester United continue to struggle under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but they have at least kept up a tradition of bringing through young players into the first team.

One of the latest to emerge is Max Taylor, who features among a host of youngsters called up to the squad for Thursday's Europa League match against Astana.

With qualification to the last 32 already assured, Solskjaer is expected to make changes to the team that drew 3-3 with Sheffield United last Sunday, meaning Taylor could make his first-team debut a little over a year after he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

It would be quite some milestone for the 19-year-old, who has had a difficult year but would appear to have a promising career ahead.

LOCAL FLAVOUR

Taylor was born Max Dunne in Manchester on January 10, 2000 - the day Solskjaer was playing in a 2-0 win over South Melbourne in the Club World Cup.

After initially joining United following a trial in 2014, he was one of eight youngsters in the intake of 2016, of which he was one of two locals, alongside Salford-born Aidan Barlow.

Taylor, who adopted that surname in February this year, made his reserve-team debut ahead of schedule as a substitute against Manchester City in 2016-17 but spent most of his time with United's under-18 side.

He made 12 starts that season and then 17 appearances in all competitions in the next, winning the Under-18 Premier League North trophy.

Described by then-academy coach Kieran McKenna as a "tough, aggressive defender who is good in the air", Taylor signed his first professional United contract in January 2018, along with team-mate George Tanner.

ILLNESS AND UNDER-23S RETURN

Taylor was moved into the under-23s side, then coached by Ricky Sbragia, ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Having prepared himself for the tougher physical and tactical aspects of regular football in the higher age group, the centre-back was then presented with a far greater challenge.

After complaining of pain while sprinting and generally feeling unwell, Taylor was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which tests last October showed had spread to his lymph nodes.

Surgery was required to remove dead tissue after chemotherapy cleared the cancer cells - "quite a risky operation" as Taylor described it. Thankfully, he was given the all-clear in February.

He returned to training on September 18, telling United's website: "I feel immensely proud and happy to be back on the training pitch with my team-mates and friends. Without the invaluable support of my family, team-mates and, of course, the nurses and doctors, my return to training at this stage would not have been possible."

Just under five weeks later, Taylor was back in action for the under-23s, coming on as a substitute for Teden Mengi in a 4-1 win over Swansea City. He then got his first taste of playing at Old Trafford in a 3-0 win for the youngsters over Sunderland last Friday, with Solskjaer watching from the stands.

Speaking to MUTV this week, Taylor said of his illness: "I don't want it to define me. I'd rather it be a part of me and then whether it's my football or how I am as a person, all combines to define me. I don't want it to be a case of it's the cancer that defines me.

"Next is I'm planning to get regular football, whether it be in the under-23s or on loan or whatever. My ultimate goal is to play for the first team here."

Celtic have been fined €15,000 (£12,886) by UEFA for obsence chanting and displaying an "illicit banner" in their Europa League win against Lazio at Celtic Park last month.

Home supporters unveiled several banners ahead of the game, including one depicting former Italian prime minister Benito Mussolini hanging upside down.

Another contained a message in Italian that translated to "f*** off".

UEFA's control, ethics and disciplinary body has also fined Lazio €10,000 (£8,593) for "illicit chanting" during the meeting on October 24, which Celtic won 2-1.

Meanwhile, Club Brugge have been fined €14,000 for breaching safety regulations by blocking the stairways during their home Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain a month ago.

Ligue 1 champions PSG have been told to pay €50,000 and threatened with a one-match away ban for supporters if they offend again in the next 12 months after setting off fireworks in the same match.

Dani Ceballos will miss Arsenal's trip to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, the club have confirmed.

The midfielder suffered a hamstring injury against Vitoria SC in Wednesday's Europa League draw, although coach Unai Emery was optimistic it was only a "small" issue.

The problem will keep Ceballos out against Leicester, but Arsenal will continue to assess his fitness.

Ceballos has also been left out of the Spain squad for the upcoming international break which follows the Leicester match.

Emery will have a decision to make in the centre of midfield, with Ceballos' absence potentially opening the door for Granit Xhaka's return.

Xhaka has not played since his angry confrontation with supporters when he was substituted against Crystal Palace last month, the Gunners having seen a 2-0 lead wiped out at Emirates Stadium.

The Switzerland international subsequently explained his actions, citing death threats made against his family on social media, but was later stripped of the Arsenal captaincy.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will resist the temptation to grant Mason Greenwood a regular starting spot despite another fine showing from the teenager.

Greenwood scored one and assisted another as United eased to a 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday.

The 18-year-old forward combined well with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in a mature 90-minute performance.

Solskjaer admires Greenwood's ability but will not easily bow to calls for him to be handed a first Premier League start for the season.

"I think we're finding the right balance between playing him, resting him and training him," Solskjaer said.

"He needs to learn the man's game. He's gone up from the Under-18s last year, now he's training with the first team every day and you can't just turn that switch on and off. You've got to perform every day if you're going to be accepted into a group like this."

Solskjaer continued: "The DNA of this club, and it's always been in our philosophy and my philosophy, is to give young players with the right attitude a chance.

"If that takes a couple of years for him to really, really come through, it's worth it. I'm managing for Man United, I'm not managing for me. I'm managing the best way I think we can get the best out of Mason. 

"If he really stamped his authority every single day in training and [had] been the best option he would have played every game.

"But as a young boy you expect ups and downs, and he's had some downs. I think he's on the way back up again."

Martial and Rashford joined Greenwood on the scoresheet against Partizan as United cruised through to the Europa League knockout stages.

While eager to improve the club's middling Premier League results, Solskjaer accepts the knockout competitions are where the Red Devils can realistically contend for silverware.

"I don't want to stop winning in cups," he said.

"We've spoken about that before. The Premier League trophy is out of our reach, we're too far behind the top teams, but any trophy you can get your hands on, we're going to go for.

"But we need to improve our league form, definitely."

United have the chance to do that at home to Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

Solskjaer expects Harry Maguire to be fit but Victor Lindelof, who has failed to train this week, is in doubt with a foot problem.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed Scott McTominay suffered an ankle injury in Manchester United's win over Partizan Belgrade, while he played down concerns over Harry Maguire.

United booked their spot in the Europa League last 32 thanks to Thursday's 3-0 win, which came thanks to goals from Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

McTominay came off during the second half of the victory due to an ankle injury, while Maguire was also a worry.

But while he has fewer worries about Maguire, United manager Solskjaer confirmed some concerns surrounding McTominay.

"I think Harry will be okay. He finished the game anyway," he told MUTV.

"Scott is more of a concern, so let's see how he recovers in the next few days.

"He said he was going to be okay out on the pitch and he said 'I'll be fine'. He's tough, but he had to come off.

"I hope he'll recover for Sunday, but I don't know. Inside of his ankle. I think he went over on his ankle."

Sitting 10th in the Premier League table, United host Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

The win over Partizan gave Solskjaer's men a boost and the performance of his young attack featuring Greenwood, Rashford and Martial was particularly pleasing for the manager.

"The reason we put the three of them together is that we know they are a dangerous trio, with players behind them who can provide chances," he said.

"Well done to Mason for a very, very calm finish. He was composed and waited for the keeper. The second one was from Anthony and was probably the skill of the night.

"Then it was great to see Marcus finishing with his left foot. He will get into those positions quite often in a game. For him to go on the outside, on his left, it is not great for defenders to see.

"It is good for us because he can go inside on his right and then finish with his left."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has acknowledged Manchester United must now take their Europa League form into the Premier League after his side dismantled Partizan Belgrade 3-0 at Old Trafford.

Goals from Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford - starting together for the first time - paved the way for a routine win on Thursday, as United ensured their progression from Group L with two games to spare.

Scott McTominay's late injury was the only blemish, though Solskjaer was frustrated by some wasteful finishing early on.

However, with a clean sheet and three well-taken goals, Solskjaer has now demanded his side, who sit 10th in the Premier League with just three wins so far, show improvement domestically.

"That's the foundation, it's a platform to perform from," Solskjaer told beIN SPORTS.

"We know we've worked on defending this year and have been solid, we just want to see more of this in the Premier League. Score goals, create chances and see smiles on the players' faces.

"Parts of the game were really good, parts of the performance were really high quality.

"You want to see five or six or seven [goals] but at times I think maybe some players started thinking of Sunday, started to recover a bit and we were a bit sloppy at the end but at times we looked really dangerous.

"First 10 or 15 minutes we should have buried the game and it should have been over by then, but we managed to get the goals and got the clean sheet which is always important for confidence for the goalkeeper and back four. Now we can just look forward to Sunday.

"Very happy [with qualifying]. It means in the last two games we can give game time to other players that need it, some players will come back from injury, so we'll use them to of course try to win the group, but it makes me think about resting a few anyway."

Rashford missed several gilt-edged chances in the first half but came up with a superb finish shortly after the break to put the result beyond doubt and, after United's dismal defeat at Bournemouth last time out, the England forward was delighted the side bounced straight back.

"A good performance which is the main thing, very happy, we take the game as a big positive so we move on and improve," Rashford told BT Sport.

"It's something we've been focusing on, as the forward players. Hopefully today was just the start of it and we can keep improving and be more natural.

"That's the main thing, trying to help each other score and score goals ourselves. We have a big emphasis on that and at the same time try to work for the team then it's a big positive.

"The main thing when you lose a game is you want to win the next one, that's the main thing as a player. It's not nice to lose but it feels very nice to win, to put it right and today we managed to do that."

Raul Jimenez scored a 92nd-minute winner as Wolves beat Slovan Bratislava 1-0 in Thursday's Europa League clash to move to the brink of the knockout stage.

The Premier League side won 2-1 when the sides last met two weeks ago but looked as though they were going to be denied a third successive Group K victory by inspired Slovan goalkeeper Dominik Greif this time.

Ruben Neves had a penalty saved early in the second half, and Greif produced a number of other impressive stops to frustrate Wolves at Molineux.

But with 12 minutes added on due to a nasty head injury to Kenan Bajric, Jimenez headed in Adama Traore's floated cross to move his side to within one point of the last 32.

Rangers struck twice in the space of four second-half minutes to beat Porto 2-0 and move joint-top of Europa League Group G.

Talisman Alfredo Morelos scored for the third European match in a row to break the deadlock in the 69th minute and then turned provider for Steven Davis.

The quick-fire double lit up a contest that had been meandering towards another draw, the sides having shared the spoils in a 1-1 result in Portugal last month.

And the three points takes Steven Gerrard's men level at the top of the pool with Young Boys on seven apiece, three ahead of Porto and Feyenoord.

It was for the most part a game of few chances and scant entertainment at Ibrox, although it could have panned out very differently had Glen Kamara not acrobatically cleared Pepe's early effort off the line.

The hosts created precious little in a scrappy first half and wasted a rare opening just before the break as Brandon Barker blasted over from James Tavernier's cut-back. 

Veteran defender Pepe was forced off with an injury just a few minutes into the second half but Rangers still struggled to test the visiting back line.

A speculative long-range strike from Ryan Kent flew wide, before the same man called Agustin Marchesin into action soon after, the goalkeeper diving low to his right to tip an effort around the post.

Then came the game's decisive spell, Morelos – who also scored at Porto – expertly picking out the bottom corner and then finding Davis for him to do the same shortly after.

It proved a telling one-two punch from which the visitors failed to recover as Porto's winless run on the road in the Europa League was stretched to eight games.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were on target as Manchester United ensured their place in the Europa League knockout stages with a convincing 3-0 win over Partizan Belgrade.

Knowing a win would be enough to see them through - courtesy of a better head-to-head record against Partizan in Group L - United wasted little time in asserting their authority, with Mason Greenwood capping a dominant start in the 21st minute.

Martial added a magnificent second soon after, with Rashford, who had been wasteful in the first half, making it 3-0 shortly after the restart as United cruised into the round of 32 with two matches to spare.

Martial and Partizan's Umar Sadiq both had goals disallowed for offside in the opening five minutes, before Rashford drilled wide from 10 yards out.

Rashford had another opportunity three minutes later, only for Vladimir Stojkovic to rush out and deny the England forward, but Greenwood made no such mistake.

Having benefitted from some dreadful Partizan marking, Greenwood kept his cool to slot beyond Stojkovic after setting himself from Rashford's neat pass.

United were two ahead just after the half hour - Martial prodding in an excellent finish after driving through Partizan's defence with some sublime footwork.

Rashford finally found his shooting boots after the restart, slamming home a brilliant first-time finish from Ashley Young's cushioned touch.

Young almost went from provider to scorer with a terrific free-kick moments later, his strike glancing the side netting before Fred drew a fine stop out of Stojkovic.

A fine night for United was blemished with 15 minutes remaining - Scott McTominay forced off through injury - but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will be able to reflect on a job well done at Old Trafford.

 

What does it mean? United finally making life easier for themselves

It has been a hard slog of a campaign so far for Solskjaer, whose side had appeared to turn a corner prior to their defeat at Bournemouth last time out. 

However, with progression in this competition secured, United can at least now switch their full focus to correcting their dismal league form.

United's vibrant attack come good

It was an ideal night for United's strikers, with all three of them getting in on the act. While starting both of his first-choice forwards in the form of Rashford and Martial may have been a risk, it paid off for Solskjaer, while Greenwood - who became the youngest player to score and assist in a single European game for the Red Devils - continued his impressive start to life in United's first team.

McTominay's fitness a cause for concern

McTominay has been one of United's most consistent performers so far this term, but after a robust challenge from Aleksandar Scekic, the Scotland international was unable to continue and could now be a doubt for Sunday's clash with Brighton and Hove Albion.

What's next?

United host Brighton the Premier League on Sunday, while Partizan are in action against Indija in the Serbian top flight.

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