Manchester United face FC Copenhagen in the UEFA Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. United had to work hard to beat Sheffield United in the Premier League on Saturday evening after Scott McTominay opened the scoring in the 28th minute.
McTominay then conceded a penalty with the Blades equalising from the spot. A great strike from Diogo Dalot in the 77th minute won the match for United – who should have done so much better against the bottom of the Premier League side on the day Sir Bobby Charlton died.
Tuesday’s match marks the first time United will play at home following the legend’s death so it will be a special day for United supporters at the match to pay tribute to a special man who literally helped the Manchester United we all know and love come to light.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-3-3
Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Reguilon;
Fernandes, Casemiro, Amrabat;
Antony, Hojlund, Rashford
Andre Onana is a positive goalkeeper and could become one of the favoured goalkeepers in the history of the club but his early mistakes seem to have written him off with many supporters and pundits – which seems a bit early. He is heartburn inducing though, at times.
The Cameroonian is a player that Erik ten Hag rates after his time at Ajax, so he knows just how good the player could be when he finds comfort at the club. His turbulent time so far has sene him own his mistakes, which is a good starting point as he knows what he needs to be doing.
Altay Bayindir will need to play at some point, as will Tom Heaton, who was rejected to move to Luton Town, not that it was ever suggested he wanted to leave United. The veteran will be looking for minutes here and there this season but Bayindir will need to play ahead of January.
Defenders: Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Reguilon
The defence is a problematic area for United. There are many injuries, which has left the club without two fullbacks to play and none on the bench. Diogo Dalot could start in his favoured right-back role again after scoring the winner against Sheffield United on Saturday evening.
Sergio Reguilon could be back in the squad to face Copenhagen, which would easily see him in a starting role against the Danish side this week. It would be good to see him back as his Champions League experience will be required in this team.
In the centre of the defence, Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire could be partnered. Maguire has won some critics over with his performances in the last few matches he has played in for club and country. Varane has found injury recently, but made another return at the weekend.
Midfield: Fernandes, Casemiro, Amrabat
United’s midfield has potential this season, especially as United have a replacement for Casemiro, should that be needed. It is hoped that the Brazilian could be fit to face Copenhagen at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening. But he too will need to up his form, which has seen him be criticised.
Sofyan Amrabat has been playing in different roles for United but in the last two matches, he has played in the midfield, which was what be wad brought to the club to do. He has largely been positive, although those fans who have achieved it all have criticised him.
Bruno Fernandes really need to start getting on the end of chances and score and assist more goals but he has been playing well recently, especially for Portugal. The midfielder is one of the most played players for club and country, which has been worked out recently. A top player.
Forwards: Antony, Hojlund, Rashford
United’s attack is pretty talented this season but we are yet to see their full potential against their opposition. Rasmus Hojlund is a talented striker but he has not yet found his feet in the Premier League and the wet wipes that like to criticise players have written him off.
Anthony needs to start finding his form again after his personal problems have started to come to an end so he can now focus on his football. United need him and the players around him to start bucking up their ideas and putting in the performances their wages suggest they can!
Marcus Rashford was the top scorer for the club last season and he needs to find some kind of form and regularly bring that to the club. If that happens, United have a positive front three which could take on any team – but it is something we all need to see first.
Substitutes: Bayindir; Lindelof, Evans; Mount, Eriksen, McTominay, van de Beek, Hannibal; Martial, Garnacho, Pellistri
United could have up to 12 players on the bench in the Champions League this season. But with injuries and the fact that few players may be able to return from injuries in time, I think United would have 10 or 11 players on the bench against Copenhagen on Tuesday.
In goal, Altay Bayindir could be on the bench once again, although he will need to start getting some minutes as he could be the number one goalkeeper with Andre Onana in Afcon action. In defence, United could be with just Victor Lindelof and Jonny Evans on the bench.
In midfield, United could have Mason Mount, Christian Eriksen, Scott McTominay, Donny van de Beek and Hannibal. In attack, Ten Hag could utilise Anthony Martial, Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri. Of course, things could change for the United manager though.
Written by John Walker