Manchester United are back in action in the Premier League on Sunday evening when Newcastle visit Old Trafford.
With only one win from the last five Premier League games, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has witnessed his side fall 10 points behind Manchester City in the title race. But the boss was delighted with the nature of the performance of the 4-0 win against Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday night and will hope for more of that version of United against the Magpies.
Here’s a look at the starting XI that Solskjaer should pick…
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
David de Gea (GK): Solskjaer praised the development of Dean Henderson this week and it is likely the young Englishman will once again be called upon for the Europa League on Thursday. But the United boss won’t dispense with his established number one.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB): Newcastle will attempt to limit the impact of United’s attacking players by squeezing the space, which will make getting forward from full-back extra important.
Harry Maguire (CB): The captain’s comments complaining about refereeing decisions following the West Brom draw last weekend felt rather tinpot when United hadn’t done enough to win otherwise. He had to be better than he currently is.
Victor Lindelof (CB): Despite reservations that Eric Bailly might be a better partner for Harry Maguire, the Swede is likely to regain his place after sitting out the win over Real Sociedad.
Luke Shaw (LB): Has been one of United’s better performers this season and was given a timely rest in midweek when Alex Telles was drafted into the starting XI.
Nemanja Matic (CM): With Paul Pogba definitely out and Scott McTominay at least a doubt, there could be a return for the veteran Serbian, whose last league start was against Sheffield United.
Fred (CM): Was actually picking good attacking passes against Real Sociedad, largely because he was given enough time on the ball and enough space to aim into behind a high defensive line. Newcastle will almost certainly play deeper to close that off.
Bruno Fernandes (AM): It is getting tough to come up with new ways to describe the level of impact he has had since joining the club just over a year ago. His European brace on Thursday night took him over 20 goals for the season in all competitions.
Mason Greenwood (RW): By his own admission, the 19-year-old feels he is starting to rediscover the form he showed during a breakout season in 2019/20. He will be looking for only his second Premier League goal of 2020/21 and the first since facing West Ham in December.
Anthony Martial (ST): Solskjaer was hopeful but unsure of Edinson Cavani’s fitness when he spoke to the press on Friday. It could offer a reprieve to United’s number nine, who has been largely poor for most of this season, disappointingly so.
Marcus Rashford (LW): His incisive runs gave Real Sociedad no end of problems and he should be more effective back on the left than he was last weekend against West Brom.