Predicted XI: [4-2-3-1] Hojlund to start after Premier League debut goal? Mainoo & Eriksen in midfield? Garnacho and Rashford on the flanks?

Ten Hag will need to find the best from his talented youth options to keep United ticking over!

Manchester United travel to the City Ground to face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League on Saturday evening. Erik ten Hag’s side are fresh from their 3-2 victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Boxing Day where they came from 2-0 down with Rasmus Hojlund his first league goal.

Alejandro Garnacho scored a brace after having another disallowed in the second half of the match. United seemed like a different team in the second half and it shows that the confidence to win can be found and United have no excuses not to perform for the remainder of the season.

Forest will be in high spirits after beating Premier League bottlers Newcastle United earlier in the week with the Newcastle supporters seeking to start rivalry with United because they are so desperate to be recognised as something they are not – a brilliant team. Bless them.

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

Onana;

Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Shaw;

Mainoo, Eriksen;

Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford;

Hojlund

Goalkeeper: Onana

Andre Onana has not had a great time as a Manchester United goalkeeper and has not looked the part for many of his appearances, and is one of the major reasons why United have seemingly fallen short of achieving anything this season. However, it is not just his fault.

Onana was the best goalkeeper in the UEFA Champions League last season and was one of the worst in the competition this season. He is yet to find his feet in the Premier League, or really at any time for United this season. Something needs to change for the Cameroonian goalkeeper.

Onana will be playing for his country in the African Cup of Nations next month and United will need to get his understudy ready to stand in goal for the club, hoping that he could stand firm and change United’s fortunes. But that said, United’s defence has been hit with injury all season.

Defenders: Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Evans, Shaw

United’s defence saw its tenth central defensive partnership before Christmas and the club is still massively hit with injury with Victor Lindelof, Lisandro Martinez and Harry Maguire all out of action with Ten Hag relying on Raphael Varane, Jonny Evans and the youth of the club.

Against Forest, I think Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw will start in the fullback roles. Wan-Bissaka has experience for the club and seems to have turned a corner in the right-back role. Shaw is probably the best left-back at the club and will be back to seeking to win soon.

In the centre of the defence, with the current injuries at the club, Varane and Evans will probably start against Forest with the likes of Willy Kambwala on the bench to provide support and a change of legs later in the match. Which will be required no doubt with Forest seeking to win their cup final!

Midfield: Mainoo, Eriksen

United’s midfield is also injury hit with Casemiro still out of action. However, Christian Eriksen returned recently and started against Villa – he was one of the players responsible for United’s change of form in the match and achieving that 3-2 victory.

Eriksen should be staring this match as long as he is fully fit, having only played a few days ago. He will need to watch himself though as fatigue, especially after coming back from a knee injury, will be a major problem in keeping him fit for the foreseeable future.

Kobbie Mainoo should be starting alongside the Danish midfielder, which could striker up a positive partnership of youth and experience in the middle of the pitch, which is what United needs at this time. Scott McTominay, Daniel Gore and Hannibal could all be on the bench against Forest.

Attacking Midfield: Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford

United’s attacking line is where the goals and assists should be coming from this season, but that has not been the case. United failed to score a single goal in four matches following the victory over Chelsea, which is a worrying sign for Ten Hag and his coaches.

However, against Villa, United came back from 2-0 down with Alejandro Garnachi scoring a brace to get United level before Rasmus Hojlund scored what turned into the winner for United. Garnacho should start on the right-wing for United, as he’s been more positive than Antony this season.

In the centre of the attacking three, Bruno Fernandes should keep his place as he was a positive player against Villa – not scoring or assisting but playing his part in the victory. Marcus Rashford, who lost his form this season, also starred, so should keep his place on the left-wing.

Forward: Hojlund

Rasmus Hojlund scored his first Premier League match for United on Boxing Day when United came from 2-0 down against Villa to win 3-2. It was a stunning goal for the Danish international who had been seeking to score his debut Premier League goal for much of the season.

Now that the frustration of not being able to score is behind him, the player will be seeking to make a name for himself in the Premier League for the remainder of the season. The creativity behind him needs to be as good as it was against Villa and I am yet to see that consistency.

That said, this could be a turning point for United, which in reality needs to be the case for this team to kick on and make their mark in the Premier League for the remainder of the season. Ten Hag will be largely positive about the future at United but will need to ensure this team continue to perform.

Substitutes: Bayindir; Reguilon, Dalot, Kambwala; McTominay, Gore, Hannibal; Antony, Pellistri

United will be able to name nine players on the bench against Forest in the Premier League on Saturday, utilising five substitutes throughout the match. The goalkeeper on the bench will most likely be Altay Bayindir, who could get his debut as a United player very soon.

In defence, one of the positions United have been hit with injury, Ten Hag could have just Sergio Reguilon, Diogo Dalot and Willy Kambwala to utilise in this match to keep United’s defence ticking over. Kambwala has been good in his first few appearances for the first team.

The midfield could be strengthened with the likes of Scott McTominay, Daniel Gore and Hannibal, which could keep United ticking over if need be. In attack, another area where United lack positive reinforcement this season, Antony and Facundo Pellistri could be available.

Written by John Walker


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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.