Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Amass at left-back? Eriksen & Mainoo in midfield? Antony on the left-wing? Rashford as the striker?

Ten Hag must start to trust youth players to step into the boots of proven players who are letting the club down!

Manchester United travel to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest in the Emirates FA Cup on Wednesday evening in another must win match for Erik ten Hag which could also see United’s season come to an end without any hope of silverware – which is justified.

It has been a terrible season for United which has seen the club seek to raise their stakes after winning the Carabao Cup last season – Ten Hag’s first trophy as United manager to a point where there will be nothing to play for this season, especially if they fail to reach top four in the league.

Forest have also suffered an abject season but they too have a chance to at least stake their claim for silverware this season, no matter how unlikely that may seem. United should be beating this team but at this time, it looks like United would struggle to beat themselves.

Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1


Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Amass;

Eriksen, Mainoo;

Garnacho, Fernandes, Antony;


Goalkeeper: Onana

Andre Onana has conceded 54 goals in all competitions or United this season and that is terrible. Last season David De Gea conceded 61 goals in all competitions. It seems certain that will be beaten this season as there is not a lot of faith in Onana – who makes the same errors each match.

Granted, he has not played many times in front of a settled defence – but United’s defence has looked less than settled when key players have been fit and playing. The manager seems to trust him but the supporters of the club have seen this before and it goes the same way.

United spent a lot of money on the Cameroonian goalkeeper in the summer and could see yet more money wasted under the Glazers, which has been the story of much of the last two decades. Altay Bayindir should be given a chance to shine, but Onana will be stuck by, at least by the manager.

Defenders: Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Amass

United’s defence has had to make do with the players they have had fit this season with many first team players out of action. Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia and Luke Shaw are currently out of action leaving Diogo Dalot as the only fit fullback in the squad.

It seems likely that Dalot will keep his starting place at right-back, which is the best option for that position. However on the left, Victor Lindelof should not be entrusted to do the job. Youth player Harry Amass was training with the first team and should get a chance to shine.

In the centre of the defence, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire will most likely start with few options on the bench that could do the job for United on a regular occurrence. Although there are some decent players in Lindelof, Jonny Evans and Willy Kambwala to deputise.

Midfield: Eriksen, Mainoo

United’s midfield looks set to be without Casemiro in the Emirates FA Cup clash with Forest on Wednesday evening. The Brazilian has a head injury and will require assessment ahead of the match, being that he suffered it only a few days ago. He could be a big loss for United if unavailable.

Christian Eriksen could replaced the Brazilian and partner Kobbie Mainoo in the centre of the midfield. Both players could do a job for United if Ten Hag trusts them to operate in the midfield together. There are options should either or neither of them be available for this match.

Sofyan Amrabat and Scott McTominay could both offer something but the former has not been trusted for the last few matches and it seems likely that his loan spell at the Theatre of Dreams will not result in a permanent one for the Moroccan, which can only be expected.

Attacking Midfield: Garnacho, Fernandes, Antony

This area of the squad should be so much better than they are. When a striker who is not performing is leading the line, it seems to stagnate this area of the pitch which does not give the required results for United. There are some top players in these positions though, which is a shame.

Alejandro Garnacho should be starting on the right-wing as he has established himself this season and will continue to do so. His seven goals and three assists have been positive for both him and the club. Bruno Fernandes needs to show his captain’s ability. I think he’s quite soft in that respect.

Fernandes has a great number of goals and assists since signing for the club more than four years ago but he needs to lead from example. Antony should be recalled into the starting XI, playing on the left-wing as he could do a great job there, if he is upfront or it – which is the question.

Forward: Rashford

Marcus Rashford looks like he will be the only forward in the squad able to play as the striker, who has experience for the first team. It is not the best option for United, who are a far worse team without Rasmus Hojlund and look set to be without him for a few weeks.

Rashford has not excelled this season, which is why the rumours surrounding him and Paris Saint-Germain with many supporters seeing enough from the so-called English talent on offer from the player who has been in bad form for the majority of the season, if not longer.

The top scorer from last season has a lot to live up to with just five goals and six assists across the season, which is terrible form him. United can do so much better and the management structure brought in by Sir Jim Ratcliffe will start to make major changes from the summer onwards.

Substitutes: Bayindir; Lindelof, Evans, Kambwala; Amrabat, McTominay, Williams; Amad, Forson

United will have nine players on the bench against Forest in the Emirates FA Cup on Wednesday night. Ten Hag will need to ensure his team are ready to fight for the badge on the shirt, not put in the performances that show that many of them are not worth a fraction of their weekly wage.

Altay Bayindir will probably be on the bench once again with Onana in goal from the start of the match. United seem to trust the goalkeeper, who has conceded so many goals this season. In defence, the likelihood is that Victor Lindelof, Jonny Evans and Willy Kambwala will be available.

In the midfield, United still have many players out injured and Casemiro could be the latest – although he could be available, If not Sofyan Amrabat, Scott McTominay and Ethan Williams could be there. In attack, Amad Diallo and Omari Forson could be involved with few options right now.

Written by Paul

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I support Manchester United, the greatest English football team to have ever existed. Bruno Fernandes is the latest in a long line of players with great ability to play for the club. I idolised Bryan Robson, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, and Eric Cantona growing up.