Manchester United are back at Old Trafford as the Premier League resumes after the international break and the clubs ready their teams for the CL spot chase . After a disappointing 1-2 loss against Sevilla in Champions League at home and then 2-0 home win against Brighton in FA Cup, United are in for third consecutive home game, a Premier League game against 14th placed Swansea.
With respect to Premier League fixtures, United head into match at the back of 3 wins against Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Liverpool with scorelines of 2-1, 2-3, 2-1 respectively. Swansea on other hand heads into the tie with a 4-1 loss against Brighton followed by win against West Ham with identical margin and lastly a goal-less draw against Huddersfield.
With two completely different sides in last two matches for the Red Devils, and changed formation as well, in the last match, United will be back at 4-3-3 with Paul Pogba back in form.
This match has importance for two main reasons :
1) Liverpool and Spurs are just 2 and 4 points behind United respectively. Hence, the chase for second spot is on.
2) It is the only game United will play before the highly anticipated Manchester Derby. Hence Mourinho needs to get his combination and chemistry right before the big night.
Here is the predicted line up: 4-3-3
Goalkeeper: David de Gea
David de Gea will be back in line up after missing against Brighton as Romero is United’s first choice keeper for cup matches. The Spaniard was in fine fettle against Germany and Argentina during the international break in goal alongside an incredible assist for Iago Aspas.
Defenders : Antonio Valencia(Captain), Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Ashley Young
Valencia will be back in squad and will lead the side. He will be supported by Young on the left flank. The speed and agility of the duo is needed against a team who will most likely play counter
The centre-back pairing of Bailly and Smalling will be back as well to strengthen United’s defence against Swansea. The combo has been by far the best and dependent coalition for the Reds this season in the heart of defence.
Midfielders : Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard
While Nemanja Matic and Pogba picks themselves based on form against Swansea, Mourinho would be tempted to play Lingard in middle as Sanchez has not particularly set the stage on fire playing in behind the striker. On the other hand, Lingard has played really well playing as central attacking midfielder for the team.
Both Lingard and Pogba played ample part for their respective countries in the friendlies. Pogba scored a spectacular free-kick against Russia and Lingard put the ball into the back of the net with a classy strike against Netherlands.
Attackers : Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez
United dearly missed Mata in the Sevilla game. His presence ensures creativity in United’s attack and will be much needed against Swansea. Lukaku has been in sublime form for club as well as country. Sanchez hasn’t any had impact for United, however he is back to the score sheet for Chile and would like to bring international form to his new club.