After scoring a hat-trick in front of José Mourinho at Old Trafford in a 3-2 win for Man United’s under-23s last Monday against Tottenham Hotspur, Josh Harrop is set for his first involvement in the club’s first team, alongside six other under-23 players.
Manager José Mourinho also named Zak Dearnley, the under-18 winger recently utilised by Nicky Butt at under-23 level, as one of six to be involved on Sunday against Crystal Palace. As in the last three Premier League games, United fans will also see centre-back Axel Tuanzebe and midfielder Scott McTominay.
Both those players have already made their debuts, but Demi Mitchell will be set for his first appearance, likely to start at left-back. Mourinho confirmed Joel Pereira will start ahead of David de Gea and Sergio Romero in goal.
“I hope to play Joel against Crystal Palace. He’s a very good goalkeeper so we’re in safe hands.”
Also involved will be Matty Willock who has been involved with first team squads sporadically over the last six weeks.
“Sunday will be a big day for the kids because lots of them are going to play,” Mourinho said. “I hope the crowd enjoys that, in spite of it not being a big, strong Manchester United team.”
“I will bring Mitchell, he was on the bench. [Scott] McTominay, he was on the bench. Of course, Axel [Tuanzebe]. Of course, Eric Bailly and [Matty] Willock will come too. Josh Harrop will come. Zachary [Dearnley] will come.
“I need to give a little structure of four or five of my boys to give some stability to the kids. I don’t think, by themselves, they will be in [the right] conditions to play the game.”
With Paul Pogba set to play as he returns from a week off on compassionate grounds following the death of his father, Man United fans could see half of the matchday squad be academy products. Only at United.