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How Manchester United could look in a 4-2-3-1 formation against Yeovil Town in the Emirates FA Cup

Manchester United travel to Huish Park to take on Yeovil Town in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup on Friday evening. On the day it was confirmed that Jose Mourinho had signed an extension to his current contract at the Theatre of Dreams and at the end of the week where Alexis Sanchez had his transfer from Arsenal confirmed, the Red Devils will be excited ahead of this match which will see United go head to head with the League Two side for the second time in the last three years.

Back in 2015, United had drawn Yeovil in the third round of the FA Cup, led then by Louis van Gaal. United eventually won the match 2-0 but took more than an hour to find the breakthrough with Ander Herrera scoring the opening goal of the match. Former United number seven Angel Di Maria scored the second goal of the game in stoppage time. Jose Mourinho will be seeking to get the better of the League Two side early in the match so he can rest some of his star players ahead of their visit to Wembley on Wednesday where they face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.

Predicted Starting XI and Formation (4-2-3-1):

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Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

Sergio Romero has been the man who has played on domestic cup competitions this season, leaving David De Gea fit for the Premier League and UEFA Champions League matches. Against League Two opposition, De Gea could be rested, giving him some time to prepare for the clash with Spurs at Wembley next week. Romero last player for United in the 2-0 victory over Derby County at the start of the month, which was his sixth appearance for United this season. Romero is a great stand in for De Gea, although United have suffered two defeats; Basel and Bristol City with the Argentinian playing ahead of De Gea. Two defeats in six is not that bad really.

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Back Four: Matteo Darmian, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw

United’s defence has been strong this season with seven central defenders to choose from for much of the season. Eric Bailly has been on the sidelines through injury for a number of months and Axel Tuanzebe has been loaned out to Aston Villa for the remainder of the season today, which leaves Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind, along with Bailly as United’s experienced central defenders. Blind has been on the sidelines through injury recently, so I have picked Lindelof and Rojo being that they have not played for a period with Jones and Smalling pairing up for the last few matches. Luka Shaw, the best left-back United have and Matteo Darmian could come in for this match, giving Antonio Valencia some rest ahead of the next Premier League match, which Shaw should be able to play in also.

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Midfield: Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba

United currently have five fit central midfielders; Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic, and Scott McTominay. I would imagine Matic will be given a rest ahead of the testing fixture against Spurs next week, which will leave four of the five fully fit midfielders. I have selected Fellaini and Pogba as that gives United enough to contend with Yeovil. Matic may well be on the bench along with one of Herrera and McTominay, probably the former. Perhaps Mourinho will select McTominay ahead of either Fellaini or Pogba, giving one of them a rest as well ahead of the clash with Spurs.

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Attacking Midfield: Alexis Sanchez, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial

This is probably the part of the team that every United supporter is looking forward to seeing. As Mourinho was seeking a right-winger, I have put Alexis Sanchez in this position with Jesse Lingard playing at the number ten and Anthony Martial on the left-wing. Between them this season, they have scored 30 goals between them (Sanchez scoring eight for Arsenal) and created 17 assists (Sanchez has for assist from his time at Arsenal). Obviously, there is a few players who can now compete for these three positions, if Mourinho continues to opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation, which will bring out the best of all players as they fight for a place in the starting XI ahead of each match.

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Striker: Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian striker has made 34 appearances for United (in all competition), scoring 17 goals, assisting a further seven goals. Lukaku has been criticised by sections of the United support for not doing enough – what more do they want. 17 goals at this stage of the season is a great number already, let alone the assists he has made also. If he can reach 30 goals this season, he will beat what Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored for the club last season and it will be a great barometer for his future success at the Old Trafford club.

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