Manchester United are set to face Rochdale in the third round of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford on Wednesday evening. United will need to find a way back from their 2-0 defeat at the hands of West Ham United on Sunday, which was an embarrassing performance for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad who lacked a lot against the Hammers.
With the match against Arsenal on Monday evening at Old Trafford, Solskjaer may have to rest some of his squad for this match with others still on the sidelines, including Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Eric Bailly, and Tim Fosu-Mensah. Youth will be trusted for this match, giving talented players a way of breaking into this first team.
Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero
The Argentinian played 90 minutes against Astana last week and kept a clean sheet and a cagey affair at Old Trafford. Every time he plays, he does well. Although in this competition last season, he was sent off against Derby County and the match went to penalties, with United losing. This season, he will want to do a lot better, if he plays.
De Gea should be rested for this match allowing him time to get ready for the Arsenal match on Monday, which will be an important match for United to get a good result in. A defeat will surely cause more drama amongst the #GlazerOut and #OleOut factions of the fan base. Nobody seems to be afforded time anymore, more to the point, no patience either.
Defenders: Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Harry Maguire, Marcos Rojo
The defence is something that needs to sort itself out this season. The arrivals of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire seem to have gone a long way to averting the poor defensive record of last season, however, conceding twice on Sunday meant that United has now conceded six goals in seven competitive matches this season.
Wan-Bissaka should keep his place in the team as I am unsure why Diogo Dalot was not involved in the West Ham match. Maguire should keep his place too. Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe should start as both did well against Astana. Tuanzebe grew up in Rochdale, so this should be a good match for him to start for United and show his class.
Midfield: James Garner, Fred, Angel Gomes
With the Arsenal match in mind and the fact that Solskjaer stated Paul Pogba might get some minutes against Rochdale, I do not think it is likely to start. In which case, James Garner should be given an opportunity to show what he can do, which might surprise some people who seem to have written off the talented youth at the club already.
Fred and Angel Gomes should also play from the start of the match. Nemanja Matic did well against Astana but they defended for much of the match. Rochdale might be seeking to cause an upset as Colchester United did by beating Tottenham Hotspur 4-3 on penalties on Tuesday evening. Solskjaer will need to get this right if United are to succeed this season.
Attacking Midfield: Tahith Chong, Mason Greenwood, Daniel James
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are both on the sidelines through injury, neither able to face Rochdale. Mason Greenwood missed the West Ham match through illness of which he has hopefully recovered from, if not, United will be using players up front who have no
Tahith Chong and Daniel James should both start on the wings for United. Chong played well against Astana, despite the fact he was frustrated by the constant defending but against Rochdale, it could be a different story. James was one of the better players against the Hammers on Sunday and if you look at the summer signings, all of them have done well this so far.
Substitutes: Lee Grant; Phil Jones, Ashley Young; Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, A
The substitutes could be important in this match. Paul Pogba will get some minutes according to Solskjaer, so his introduction could be important for United, especially with the Arsenal match coming up in a number of days. There will likely be no forwards on the bench, which could be a problem for the likes of James, Chong and Greenwood.
Phil Jones could be on the bench, although whatever happened in the stands at West Ham might change that if the rumours are true about what he allegedly said. Solskjaer could also rely on Juan Mata, who was lacklustre on Sunday, Andreas Pereira, Ashley Young, Nemanja Matic and Lee Grant. Hopefully, United get a good result against Rochdale.