Starting XI Prediction: Mourinho to field a strong side to take the points in Huddersfield

Manchester United travel to Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon, the first time the two clubs have faced each other since the 11th March 1972, the 9th October 1971 being the last match in Huddersfield. The newly promoted side started the season well, winning their two opening matches, failing to win in the following six, drawing three times. Jose Mourinho has already confirmed that he has the same squad which beat Benfica 1-0 on Wednesday with Marcus Rashford avoiding serious injury and none of the other injured players coming back into contention. United have a great record against Huddersfield, winning 20, drawing 15 and losing ten of the 45 matches played.

Starting XI Formation Prediction (4-2-3-1):

Mourinho will most likely play the same formation he has been fielding in recent weeks, a 4-2-3-1. This formation can be changed with one of two substitutions, allows United to attack – something they have not been doing all that well in recent weeks and also defend – in numbers if need be. Huddersfield will be seeking to scalp United, as every other team dreams of doing. These big clubs travelling to new stadiums can head into unknown territory – especially when it has been more than 45 years since the teams last faced each other at first team level.

Goalkeeper: David De Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper has been the difference between Manchester United taking points or drawing this season. His performance against Liverpool showed just how crucial he is to the club. With United involved in the Carabao Cup against Swansea City on Tuesday, De Gea could face Huddersfield and be rested, allowing Sergio Romero to have a match before United entertain Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford next weekend. It will be crucial to rest De Gea this season, keeping him fresh for the big matches. Romero could play in the final two Champions League matches this season, if United beat Benfica at Old Trafford at the end of the month.

Defenders: Antonio Valencia, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw

At this stage of the season, United’s defence is weakened with Eric Bailly being on the sidelines and Luke Shaw now forcing his way into the first team, which could be the perfect chance for him at Huddersfield. Phil Jones has been out of action since the international break, making the bench in Lisbon earlier in the week with Mourinho confirming he will be involved against the Premier League new boys. Antonio Valencia is a player who is in great form for United, settling well as a right back, also getting forward and assisting the attack, which has been a problem for United in the last few matches. Victor Lindelof made his Premier League debut against Liverpool last week, playing a minute plus added time. Huddersfield could be his chance to get involved in the league, which needs to come sooner rather than later.

Defensive Midfield: Ander Herrera, Nemanja Matic

The midfield is a problem point for United two months into the season. Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini, and Michael Carrick are all out of action leaving only Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic as the experienced members of the team. Scott McTominay is fit and ready to get involved, but he is much better further up the pitch, in my opinion anyway. Herrera and Matic have played together for the last two matches, Herrera getting some valuable time on the pitch, not really involving himself much against Benfica and United seemingly poor against Liverpool. Matic has been the player Mourinho knew he was, a lifeline for United, a decent defensive minded midfielder, and a player United could use to spur them on this season. When Fellaini and Pogba are both back, Mourinho and United will be much happier.

Attacking Midfield: Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Anthony Martial

United’s attack has been poor in the last few matches. Henrikh Mkhitaryan seems to be tired and in need of a break – that has been showing in his form. After last season, when he was dropped for months in order to settle into the team, United were criticised for dropping their new signing. Now he is droppable and in need of more time off the pitch, which is a worry. Marcus Rashford, an injury worry for United, could step in on the right with Anthony Martial playing on the left. Juan Mata and Mkhitaryan could play in the number ten role, but for me, Scott McTominay could be a good choice for this match, allowing other to have a rest and seeing Mourinho blood in more youth, which is something rival fans don’t think he is doing. Pep Guardiola eh, trusts youth, doesn’t he?

Striker: Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian has seemingly gone off the boil since the international break, carrying an injury at the start of the month, missing the first game for Belgium then playing in the second, scoring a goal. Lukaku has failed to score against both Liverpool and Benfica and will be seeking a goal, or two against Huddersfield this weekend. United need the three points in order to keep up the chase on Manchester City, who are currently two points better off in the league. Allowing them to get a cushion at this stage of the season could see them pull away. Burnley could be a challenge for them, based on the points they have earned against big clubs this season, but this City side will push for another high scoring victory, meaning United will need to do the same.

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