Manchester United have to put Sunday’s 4-0 hammering at the hands of Everton behind us quickly as we are set to take on Manchester City at Old Trafford this evening.
With no Champions League left to play for, Pep Guardiola doesn’t have to worry about squad rotation between now and the end of the season – just four Premier League games to go and then the FA Cup final. The Citizens are on a 10-game winning streak in the league and will win the 2018-19 Premier League title should they win their four remaining games, starting at Old Trafford this evening.
Whereas we start the evening three points outside of the top four with time running out to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Here’s the team I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will name in hope to get our top four hopes back on track:
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
Beaten by two efforts from outside the penalty area on Sunday, David de Gea will need to return to his best if we’re to have a chance in this match. Manchester City have a number of lethal finishers in Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane. Each of the City front players will have every reason to fancy their chances from inside or outside the box this evening given the Spaniard’s form over the past week.
Defence: Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof, Luke Shaw
Luke Shaw returns from suspension to potentially go up against the in-form Bernardo Silva at left-back. The England international has done a good man-marking job in several games this season. The bigger problem for us should be on the opposite flank where Ashley Young could be facing Raheem Sterling, who has torn him many defenders apart this season. Young himself has not been the best defensively to put it politely. Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof played in the weekend’s hammering at Everton and need a confidence boost before facing the likes of Sergio Aguero and Sterling.
Midfield: Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard
Nemanja Matic isn’t the most mobile and hasn’t had the best of times of late without Ander Herrera alongside him, so look out for David Silva and Bernardo Silva to pass the ball around the Serbian this evening. Scott McTominay is likely to add some extra protection to our back four in the absence of Herrera but you can expect the ball to be in our half for long periods. Paul Pogba has gone missing over the past month but did score a brace in this fixture last season as we fought back from 0-2 to win 3-2. Jesse Lingard hasn’t started too many games of late but Ole may want to stick the England international in the number 10 role to pick up the ball in between the City midfield and defence to run at them.
Attack: Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku
Alexis Sanchez is back but I think Romelu Lukaku will be partnered alongside Marcus Rashford in this one. The Belgian striker has shown a good eye for goal this season when he gets the ball in good positions and should have the beating of John Stones. Lukaku can also hold the ball up to bring others into play. Marcus Rashford’s pace will hopefully cause City some problems. Anthony Martial is another option but hasn’t offered much in his recent starts.
Here is our team on paper: