Manchester United have done what Manchester United do in the space of the last week.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side stepped up with an excellent performance to outwit and beat a Manchester City that had won 21 on the bounce in all competitions prior to kick-off. Yet just days later a turgid and laboured display against AC Milan was fortunate not to end in defeat.
United now face West Ham in the Premier League at Old Trafford on Sunday. They have won both previous meetings with the Hammers this season, once in the league and once in the FA Cup, but neither game was an easy ride against the best West Ham team in years.
Here’s a look at the starting XI Solskjaer should pick…
Man Utd predicted lineup
1. Goalkeeper & Defenders
Dean Henderson (GK): David de Gea is back in Manchester after recent personal leave in Spain, although he won’t be ready to return for this one as he may not be clear of coronavirus protocols.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RB): Basically an automatic starter because of a lack of other options, while all 26 of his Premier League appearances this season have spanned the full 90 minutes.
Harry Maguire (CB): The captain was the butt of the jokes on social media on Thursday night when he somehow managed to miss a golden chance to score while stood almost on the goal-line. Defending is his strength but West Ham will ask questions of him.
Victor Lindelof (CB): Both Lindelof and Eric Bailly have niggling injury complaints. The Swede continues to nurse a back problem that has been with him for several months.
Luke Shaw (LB): On the bench from the start against Milan and that rest will have been important as he remains one of United best players this season.
Scott McTominay (CM): Scored the winner against West Ham in the FA Cup tie between the clubs last month and has enjoyed a good scoring record at Old Trafford in recent months.
Fred (CM): Solskjaer’s decision to rest the Brazilian from the start in the Europa League was perhaps a strong clue that he will start here.
Bruno Fernandes (AM): Got the ball rolling with an early penalty in last weekend’s derby and is edging towards 20 league goals. No United midfielder has ever reached that milestone in the Premier League. He could also reach 30 in all competitions.
Amad Diallo (RW): Expected absences for Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani could present an opportunity for the teenager to make his full United debut a few days after he scored his first goal for the club.
Mason Greenwood (ST): Likely to lead the line without the others involved. Probably still lacks the physicality to play the ‘number nine’ role and will have to think of other ways to test West Ham.
Daniel James (LW): Should keep his place thanks to positive recent form. Has featured much less than last season when he was arguably overplayed before he was ready.