Manchester United face Newcastle United at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening days after their calamitous 3-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League. Erik ten Hag’s side have now lost five of their ten matches in the league this season.
United have had one convincing victory this season and that was in the Carabao Cup against Crystal Palace, which isn’t really something to wrote home about as it was a relaxed Palace team, so that said, it is time for the United players to put a shift in and show they want to win.
Ten Hag is on the ropes at the minute with moronic sections of the fanbase calling for his head to bring in another manager to restart this again and see the same results. This has happened with every manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. It’s not the manager – it’s the club!
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-3-3
Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Reguilon;
Fernandes, Amrabat, Eriksen;
Pellistri, Hojlund, Garnacho
Andre Onana has not had a very good weekend for United. Conceding three goals against Manchester City at Old Trafford has not been great for him or United. His start at the club has been largely questionable and the criticism will keep coming.
It will change for him though. He has the confidence and the will to succeed and at some point, he will come good for United. I really hope so. United do not need another period whereby they do not have a goalkeeper that knows what they are doing. It needs to work sooner or later.
That said, Altay Bayindir will be waiting for his chance to start for his new club. He will most likely get some action in January and February with Onana at the African Cup of Nations and it is possible that his time in goal could come at some point before – with many matches for United to play.
Defenders: Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Varane, Reguilon
The defence at United is vulnerable. Despite conceding three goals against City on Sunday, United played well in this area. It does require improvement though. Slow and laboured seems to be the way and that is the biggest thing that needs to change – and fast!
Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be back for this match and if so, it will be positive for United. Diogo Dalot has been good at times but Wan-Bissaka has been better for United. Sergio Reguilon should also return on the left, which would be good to see with two actual fullbacks starting.
In the centre of the defence, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire could both start. United are missing Lisandro Martinez but he is out until at least January, so will have to make do without him. The likes of Victor Lindelof, Jonny Evans and even Luke Shaw, when fit, could enter the fray here.
Midfield: Fernandes, Amrabat, Eriksen
United’s midfield has some talent this season big injury, loss of form and other problems has not seen it shine. Against Newcastle, Bruno Fernandes should start in a midfield three, which could help United get something started, but he and his teammates will need to perform impeccably.
Sofyan Amrabat started against City and will be required to step up and show just why he has earned his place in the team. He is a bright signing for Ten Hag, albeit on loan, and he will show his worth this season – at least once United take a positive step forwards.
Christian Eriksen is a player that has been one of the best signings for the club in the last few summers. Signing on a free and looking like a player that helps United advance, despite his age and heart condition makes other players look like chancers.
Forwards: Pellistri, Hojlund, Garnacho
United need to find the best attacking players to start for the club this season. It has not worked for a few players at this time and changes need to be made. Rasmus Hojlund is a player that will find the back of the new if the service is right – and it is not right for him.
Facundo Pellistri is a player who has taken his chances this season and needs more of them to find his feet and show his worth. He’s a starter for Uruguay, so should get more of a chance at United. Antony has continually failed to shine and his transfer fee is an embarrassment so far.
Alejandro Garnacho is another bright prospect for United and with Marcus Rashford not performing to the expected standards, he should be benched and Garnacho should get the chance. With a string of matches under his belt, he could help Pellistri get Hojlund firing.
Substitutes: Bayindir; Lindelof, Dalot; Mount, Mainoo, Hannibal; Martial, Rashford, Antony
United will have nine players on the bench against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday evening. Five of those are able to be brought on during the course of the match. I would expect Altay Bayindir to be on the bench again, despite needing to get on the pitch.
In defence, Victor Lindelof and Diogo Dalot could both be available, unless Wan-Bissaka is not fit enough to play a part in this match, in which case, Dalot could start and Jonny Evans could be on the bench. In midfield, Mason Mount, Kobbie Mainoo and Hannibal could be available.
In attack, a position that United have been struggling in this season, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Antony could all be available. Both Rashford and Antony have not performed well this season so other players need to be given a chance to shine on the pitch.
Written by John Walker