Manchester United return to Premier League action on Sunday as they travel to Liverpool to face Everton at Goodison Park. Everton’s international break was not a positive one with them being deducted 10 points for breaches of Financial Fair Play.
Meanwhile, Manchester City who have 115 outstanding charges against them, for well over a year, seen to have avoided any penalty, which seems very strange. United will need to build on that 1-0 victory over Luton prior to the international break but have a heavy injury list.
Luke Shaw is back in training but looks likely to sit out this match as United could miss ten other names from their squad, which will make this an important match for United to get a good result from. However, Everton will be seeking to climb up the table again with a victory.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI – 4-3-3
Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Reguilon;
Fernandes, Amrabat, McTominay;
Pellistri, Rashford, Garnacho
Andre Onana was rumoured to be out of action after playing for Cameroon during the international break and seemingly suffering an injury. However, it now seem that he will be able to face Everton on Sunday providing he passes a fitness test – which seems likely.
The Cameroonian has not had the best start to life at United with a number of high-profile errors which has seen United’s defence leak goals. The former Inter Milan and Ajax goalkeeper has conceded a total of 30 goals in all competitions this season.
Altay Bayindir was signed by United in the summer to rival Onana for the number one position at the club but is yet to make his debut for United, which could come in January as the Cameroonian, at this moment in time, could be playing in the African Cup of Nations.
Defenders: Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw
United’s defence has been the major area that has been struggling since the injury crisis started at the club earlier this season. United had just one fullback at a stage of the season. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should both be starting, if fit to face Everton.
In the centre of the defence, Harry Maguire, who has redeemed himself after he was nearly sold in the summer, along with Victor Lindelof could form the defence against Everton. United have the liked of Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez – one is out of favour – the other injured.
Ten Hag will have some problems to deal with as he looks to put together a United team capable of takin on the might of Manchester City and pushing United forward to challenge for the Premier League title, not to mention the UEFA Champions League, FA Cup and beyond.
Midfield: Fernandes, Amrabat, McTominay
United’s midfield is not something that is being regarded as one of the best in the league at this time, let alone the best in Europe. Something needs to give for this squad as it is terrible that a United midfield cannot control matches. A 4-3-3 formation could work against Everton.
Bruno Fernandes, the club captain will need to get some action from his teammates against a team who has just seen ten point reduction for a breach of Financial Fair Play. Fernandes is a skilful player and will need to perform to the best of his abilities against the Toffees.
Sofyan Amrabat seems to be the defensive midfielder this season with Casemiro injured and seemingly linked with a move away from the club as early as January. He could be a great player for United. Scott McTominay has also shown his worth this season and should start.
Forwards: Pellistri, Rashford, Garnacho
United’s attack is considerably weaker than it was against Luton a fortnight ago. Marcus Rashford could be set to lead the line for United with Anthony Martial out of form and not playing much football at this time. The England attacker will need to start performing for the club.
Facundo Pellistri is a player who has been performing for his country, Uruguay during the international break and should be getting more minutes for United. Antony has not really started to find any form so far this season and it should mean he’s benched for the foreseeable.
Alejandro Garnacho is a lively young player on the left-wing for United and he should be getting more minutes on the pitch for United. He always seeks to get an advantage for United whether it is a goal or an assist. He should be playing much more football this season.
Substitutes: Bayindir; Varane, Dalot; Hannibal, Mainoo, Gore; Martial, Hojlund, Antony
United will have nine substitutes on the bench against Everton on Sunday. With the injury problems surrounding the club at this time, it could be touch and go for Ten Hag to select a bench that does not include two goalkeepers. Altay Bayindir will most likely be on the bench, despite the rumours.
In the defence, United are still short of numbers at this time despite the fact Lisandro Martinez has returned to individual training this week. Raphael Varane and Diogo Dalot could be th only defenders on the bench against the Toffees this weekend. A struggle for Ten Hag?
In the midfield, Hannibal, Kobbie Mainoo and Daniel Gore could all be on the bench with rumours of Mason Mount being out for a month. In attack, Anthony Martial, Rasmus Hojlund, if he passes his fitness test and Antony could be the only attacking players on the bench.
Written by John Walker