The Red Devils end the year with international matches against Serbia and Azerbaijan. Domenico Tedesco doesn’t like to change his selection, but here and there he will be forced to. Keita is out. De Ketelaere, Vertonghen and Onana are doubtful.
Still no Thibaut Courtois or Kevin De Bruyne in the selection. That’s for sure. Mandela Keita, called up for the first time last time, is also still out of action. The return of Leandro Trossard, who was out of action for the international matches in Austria and against Sweden with a patellar tendon injury, is certain. He excelled with a goal in Arsenal’s Champions League match against Sevilla on Wednesday. Koen Casteels, who was struggling with an abdominal muscle injury, has also recovered and can be selected.
There are also doubtful cases. The selection of Charles De Ketelaere is the most uncertain. The Atalanta player, where he has been on the bench in recent weeks, is suffering from knee problems. Atalanta would prefer to have him fully healed and then inactivity during the international break would be convenient. But Atalanta coach Piero Gasperini may already need him this weekend against Udinese. If De Ketelaere plays, it will be difficult to keep him away from the Red Devils.
Rest against Serbia
The same applies to Jan Vertonghen. The 152-time international suffered an ankle injury against Cercle Brugge. Anderlecht wants to get him ready to play for the top match in Ghent on Sunday and it would be best to give him some rest. In the event that Vertonghen plays on Sunday, national coach Domenico Tedesco wants to consider this for Wednesday’s friendly match against Serbia, but not for the final European Championship qualifier against Azerbaijan the following Sunday. A win is necessary to be the European Championship seed at the draw on December 2 in Hamburg.
Amadou Onana did not play against Brighton last Saturday due to a calf injury. The question is to what extent the defensive midfielder, suspended in the last match against Sweden, has recovered to play in the next two international matches.
Then there is the problem that not all Red Devils still have playing minutes. Arthur Theate did not come off the bench in the last three competition matches at Rennes. Youri Tielemans is still a substitute for Aston Villa in the Premier League. Dodi Lukebakio is fighting for a starting place at Sevilla, while Michy Batshuayi is a regular bencher at Fenerbahce. Fortunately, the rest of the Red Devils selected last time get to play regularly or always.
There is little doubt that Domenico Tedesco will implement some experiments. That will certainly be in terms of systems and possibly also with new players. But that chance is smaller.