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Starting XI Prediction: Lukaku and Rashford to lead the line against Real Salt Lake?

The first game of the tour is over and it was a comfortable 5-2 win against LA Galaxy. The focus now goes ahead to the next match of the tour also against an MLS side this time in Real Salt Lake. Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world and this Manchester United side can play multiple formations depending on the opposition.

Starting XI Prediction (3-5-2):

Manchester United started the LA Galaxy game playing a 3-5-2 formation and it worked well. I like having a partnership up front and I believe that would bring the best out of Marcus Rashford and our new number nine Romelu Lukaku. With the five in midfield, this will also bring out the best in French superstar Paul Pogba as he has played his best football with a defensive midfielder behind him. There are cases for many players to start after a good performance on Saturday afternoon American time.

Goalkeeper – Sergio Romero

Whilst talking to MUTV Jose Mourinho said that in the second game of the tour Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira would play. With Romero not featuring against LA Galaxy, I expect the Argentinian to get the nod for the first half.

Back Three – Eric Bailly, Victor Lindelöf, Axel Tuanzebe

The back three that ended the game on Saturday against LA Galaxy, Lindelöf performed well and I was impressed with his confidence on the ball. I expect Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelöf to be Jose Mourinho’s first choice central defenders next season so it would be wise to partner them up to start gelling in pre-season. Tuanzebe has been outstanding for the Academy and it is about time he gets some first team action.

Midfield Five – Antonio Valencia, Andreas Pereira, Ander Herrera, Paul Pogba, Demetri Mitchell

I want to see Timothy Fosu-Mensah play as a defensive midfielder with Antonio Valencia at right back as he is everything that Mourinho looks for in a player but I don’t see it happening. The wing backs in this system have a responsibility to be good in both defence and attack and this is what Manchester United have here with Antonio Valencia and Demetri Mitchell excelling as full-backs despite being attacking players. Pereira was excellent against LA Galaxy and I expect him to try and force himself into the reckoning for the new season. Pogba and Herrera were also good on Saturday and partnering them up will make this midfield five solid with Ander Herrera at the base and Paul Pogba and Andreas Pereira just ahead dictating play.

Front Two – Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford

Two of the most exciting forward in the league I think a partnership of Rashford and Lukaku will complement each other superbly with Lukaku’s pace strength and clinical finishing as well as Rashford pace and never give up attitude. Rashford was probably Man of the Match against LA Galaxy and once again he looks ready and raring to go. With the excellent midfield playing balls through to these forwards Manchester United look set for another solid game this pre-season.

I expect to see a full rotation again at half-time again like the last fixture and any player could be put into this side and it would still be a great team. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was one of the brightest players against LA Galaxy and if he can continue to perform like that it could be an even more successful season for the tricky Armenian.

Written by Luke Lacey

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