Starting XI Prediction: Mourinho to use a back three formation at the Liberty Stadium?

Manchester United are pitted against Swansea City in the Carabao Cup at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday evening. The match will be shown live in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports. It will be a match where United will need to get over their defeat away to Huddersfield Town in the Premier League at the weekend, pushing on to reach the fifth round of the Carabao Cup, which will see them defend their crown for another round. Jose Mourinho’s side is depleted by injury right now, not that it should be an excuse for United’s poor form, which did not just appear at Huddersfield, it had been present for the previous two matches; the 1-0 victory over Benfica in the UEFA Champions League and the 0-0 draw with Liverpool in the Premier League.

Starting XI Prediction (3-4-1-2):

Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero

The Argentinian has not played for a while now and seems to be a good option instead of David De Gea, so with De Gea’s niggle he suffered against Huddersfied, he should be rested for the big Premier League game this weekend with Tottenham Hotspur coming to the Theatre of Dreams. Romero is trusted by Jose Mourinho and has proven himself, especially in the UEFA Europa League last season, where he was chosen ahead of David De Gea, the Spanish goalkeeper saved for the Premier League matches.

Back Three: Axel Tuanzebe, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind

Manchester United are down to three experienced central defenders; Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling, and Daley Blind. Axel Tuanzebe is also a player on the fringes of the first team who could be chosen to get United through this midweek match. Eric Bailly was due back this week, but it is not known whether this will be the Swansea match, or more importantly the Tottenham Hotspur match in the Premier League at the weekend. Having Tuanzebe, Smalling and Blind playing in a back three in this match could see United play more defensively, with Young and Shaw in the fullback roles, which could see United playing a more attacking display, which was what has been lacking recently. Getting through the injury period is a must for United. If they can scrape through, that will do.

Fullbacks: Ashley Young and Luke Shaw

Antonio Valencia will be a much better option against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford this weekend and with Matteo Darmian being overlooked recently, Ashley Young could be pulled in at right-back with Luke Shaw coming in at left-back, should he not play for the U23’s on Monday evening. Shaw needs to get back into the swing of things in the first team, getting the manager to trust him again and play to his potential. Failing that, his career at United will be in the balance with the January window fastly coming, which could be where he ends his career at the club. Let’s be honest, he has not done himself any favours since he signed from Southampton, just not reaching the level needed to be a Manchester United player. Here is hoping he sorts his mind out and makes it, against all odds.

Midfield: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic

United do not have any other midfielder to choose from unless one of Paul Pogba, Michael Carrick or Marouane Fellaini are going to be a surprise on the trip to Swansea. Both Herrera and Matic have played in the last three matches, Matic showing his worth in the defeat to Huddersfield at the weekend, trying to spur up the players and Herrera moaning about the attitude shown, which was not the best whatever the manager says. United need to kick on and get the results in the bag, whatever the means. Until Pogba is back, United will always miss him and the haters will too, they have nothing to compare against at this moment in time.

Number Ten: Scott McTominay

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata have not been in the best form recently and should be rested, which could help bring the best out of them in the weeks to come. One or both could come off the bench, as United do not have a lot of players to choose from at this time, many on the sidelines through injury. Scott McTominay, fresh from signing he new contract late last week could be the player Mourinho looks to in order to keep the play from the midfield to the forwards, possibly attempting to score himself – he has it in him.

Forwards: Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial have played well this season, but need to be trusted by the manager a little more. With Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the sidelines, other than James Wilson, who is returning from a knee injury, there are no other players to take the pressure off Romelu Lukaku, who has played nearly every match this season, sitting on the bench in the third round of the carabao Cup against Burton Albion. Rashford has scored in the last two matches, and Martial has the ability to some nothing into something, and Mourinho needs to trust both to perform when Lukaku needs to be rested as the season is not getting any shorter, so to speak.

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copyright: JW

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