PAUL POGBA will captain Manchester United against Leicester City because of his links to the academy.
Pogba only returned to pre-season training on Monday after helping France to World Cup glory and was expected to be named on the bench against Leicester.
Jose Mourinho sprung a surprise by not only including the 25-year-old in his starting XI but naming his as the team’s skipper.
Antonio Valencia has succeed the retired Michael Carrick as Manchester United captain but is unavailable to face Leicester due to injury so Pogba has stepped up to the plate.
Speaking ahead of kick off, Mourinho said: “Antonio Valencia is the captain but he is not here so Paul Pogba is captain.
“He has come up through the academy and he knows what the club means.”
Mourinho has a limited pool to work with due to a number of players being on holiday after their exploits at the World Cup.
Romelu Lukaku is on the bench but Nemanja Matic and Jesse Lingard are not in the 18-man squad.
“The players involved in the World Cup semi-finals started training on Monday and some of them are involved today to help the team,” Mourinho said.
“Nemanja Matic is unavailable, Jesse Lingard doesn’t feel he is in a position to help us but Romelu Lukaku can give us a hand from the bench.”
Despite a disappointing summer in the transfer market, United are expected to challenge Manchester City for the Premier League title.
But Mourinho said: “I don’t want to speak about the season, I want to speak about the match.
“We are going to try everything to start well and go into next week with a good spirit.”
Man Utd: De Gea, Darmian, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw, Fred, Pereira, Pogba, Mata, Sanchez, Rashford
Subs: Grant, Smalling, Young, Fellaini, McTominay, Martial, Lukaku
Leicester: Schmeichel, Amartey, Maguire, Morgan, Chilwell, Ndidi, Silva, Ricardo, Maddison, Gray, Iheanacho
Subs: Ward, Evans, Vardy, Albrighton, Iborra, Fuchs, Ghezzal