With the third week fixtures of the Premier League already in flow, the Red Devils host the United Vs Palace fixture tonight at the Theatre of Dreams.
The away game last week at Molineux was a humbling reminder to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that the squad he has selected to compete in the Premiership this year have not really found their stride yet, even after taking 4 goals against Chelsea on the opening weekend.
If the opening weekend’s clash against Chelsea was one where we could see the attacking prowess of Manchester United, the match against Wolves was one where the entire squad crumbled after owning the field for the entirety of the first half.
Let us analyse what has happened in the previous matches and what to expect from the United Vs Palace game.
First, the POSITIVES:
The squad has had a successful outing during pre-season with Solskjaer taking the players to task and drilling in his fast counter-attack playing pattern. Ole, on both occasions in the PL this season, has fielded a young team with the average age of 24 years on the pitch and the players have slowly started to adjust to his philosophy of playing the game, with both Rashford and Martial striking the back of the net twice already.
The back half of United has been strengthened with the arrival of Maguire who along with Shaw, Lindelof, and Wan-Bisakka have plugged, what was for many seasons after SAF left, the greatest shortcoming of Manchester United, their porous defense.
With Maguire taking charge of defense, threats from the opposition towards the United goal are given a calm and collected response. This, in turn, allows the midfield to play further up and gives Pogba the space that he so loves to create the sensational passes that result in magic at the other half.
This will be the key for the Red Devils to deliver in the United Vs Palace fixture.
Second, what went WRONG against Wolves:
After conceding the goal against Wolves, the team could not get their act together. The domination of the midfield that they had asserted in the first half was replaced with a careful reserved play.
With Wolves pushing in, Pogba was forced to play in a more defensive position, when he should have been playing deep. The set-pieces were poor, for a team that has strong players inside the box, United could not convert any of its set-pieces.
Ole Gunnar waited until the 80th minute to sub the players, when clearly Lingard was not having a spectacular game, even to the point of missing a shot in front of goal that would have put the team ahead.
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Third, what can we EXPECT from Ole Gunnar tonight:
Ole Gunnar’s men welcome the Eagles for the United Vs Palace game at Old Trafford and he is certain to field the same team that he did against Wolves, with maybe Pereira, Greenwood, or even Fred getting to see the field much sooner.
All eyes this Saturday will be on the Crystal Palace transfer – Wan Bisakka, who has been excelling on the field, fast becoming a core player in Ole Gunnar’s vision to finally take back the English championship. It will be interesting to also see if Daniel James can play in the colors during the United Vs Palace match, after falling prey to the pressure from Wolves.
Hopefully one of the other talents in the Manchester United pool gets to take the field to impress the boss and hopefully we will start to see the solidification of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s vision for Manchester United.