Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Hojlund, Garnacho, Fernandes & Rashford to lead the line against Chelsea? Mount, Eriksen & McTominay on the bench?

United have many injury problems once again but Ten Hag will need to deal with that!

Manchester United travel to London to face Chelsea in the Premier League on Thursday evening. United manager Erik ten Hag will be seeking a change in fortunes for his side, who should welcome some players back to the starting XI following a late injury crisis at the club.

Chelsea will also need a change in fortunes after spending around £1 billion in the last four transfer windows and languishing in 11th place in the league with just 40 points in 28 matches this season, which is terrible after the amount of money that has been spent.

United still sit outside the top four at this important stage of the season and will need to push in all of their matches to get the desired results to change the outcome of their season. There is a lot of speculation right now and this United squad will have to overcome that and grind out results.

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

Onana;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Dalot;

Casemiro, Mainoo;

Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford;

Hojlund

Goalkeeper: Onana

Andre Onana has been largely criticised this season but he is one of the better goalkeepers in the Premier League based on clean sheets with him, and others sitting just two clean sheets behind the best goalkeeper in the league this season – David Raya of Arsenal.

Onana has made some big mistakes but his individual stats seem to have grown this season, which makes it look like it is not him that is behind the number of goals which have been conceded in all competitions this season when he has been playing – 61!

United do not really have a better goalkeeper at the club other than Onana. Altay Bayindir has played just one match for United this season and he has been injured for the past few weeks. Onana will likely be the first choice goalkeeper at the club for the foreseeable future.

Defenders: Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Dalot

United’s defence have been one of the major problems for the club this season. Injuries have been prevalent for the majority of the season and they seem to still be taking hold of the club at this stage of the season, with just eight weeks of the Premier League season remaining.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot should start in the fullback places for United against Chelsea. They are the only fit and experienced fullbacks at the club this season with Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia both out of action – but Shaw should play again before this season is over.

Lisandro Martinez returned to action against Brentford at the weekend, but he has not suffered a calf injury in training and will be out for a month, along with Victor Lindelof, who has a hamstring injury. Doubts have been raised about Raphael Varane too, but he could partner Harry Maguire this week.

Midfield: Casemiro, Mainoo

United’s midfield has been a positive this season, despite many injuries having taken hold of the club in the early stages of the season. Casemiro is now back in action and could find himself back in the starting XI against Chelsea, which would be a good thing for United.

Kobbie Mainoo is likely to partner the Brazilian after his meteoric rise in the Premier League this season, which has also seem him play for England, albeit in friendly matches. Mainoo is a player that has grabbed his chance by the scruff of the neck and made sure that he took it.

He has impressed massively and has many plaudits to back that up. Ten Hag has a number of options in Sofyan Amrabat, Mason Mount, Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay in these positions, although the likes of Mount, Eriksen and McTominay can also play further forward.

Attacking Midfield: Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford

The attacking midfield for United this season are a talented bunch of players but there does not seem to be an actual Plan B that is going to get the job done should this trio not be able to do that. That will be something that United will have to address in the summer, and it could well be.

Alejandro Garnacho has been scoring and assisting goals this season with seven goals and four assists so far this season. He should be starting against Chelsea as he seems to be the player most likely to get stuck in and score more goals this season – I would like to see him score ten or more.

Bruno Fernandes has eight goals and nine assists this season – not his best but he has continued to create and score – some being from the penalty spot. Marcus Rashford is the underachiever here with eight goals and six assists, especially after scoring 30 goals last season.

Forward: Hojlund

Rasmus Hojlund is United’s top scorer this season with 13 goals and two assists so far. It is not what many United supporters wanted to see, based on the fact he came to the club so highly rated but it never went to plan for him from the very start of the season. He got better though.

Hojlund started scoring in the UEFA Champions League, scoring some great goals but it did not really help United, who had a leaky defence and crashed out in the group stages. However, during the second half of the season, Hojlund found his scoring boots, which was great to see.

United do not have any competition for Hojlund in the striker position and will need to eb active in the summer transfer window to find a partner and get some support for the Danish striker for United to become a formidable force in the Premier League and beyond next season.

Substitutes: Heaton; Evans, Kambwala; Amrabat, Mount, Eriksen, McTominay; Amad, Antony

United will have nine players on the bench against Chelsea but will need to maintain fitness ahead of the clash with Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday. Tom Heaton looks set to be the substitute goalkeeper once again with Altay Bayindir still out of action with an injury.

The defence looks severely weak for United with it revealed on Tuesday evening that Victor Lindelof and Lisandro Martinez both being out for a month with the latter just returning at the weekend. Jonny Evans and Willy Kambwala could both be on the bench.

The midfield could see Sofyan Amrabat, Mason Mount, Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay in reserve for United, with that strength likely to be needed this week. Amad Diallo and Antony could be the only attacking players on the bench for United, which shows a major weakness for United.

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.