One week today Manchester United are back in action against Chelsea in the Premier League.
At this point there is a lot we don’t know about the options available to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Will new signing Odion Ighalo be a viable starting option? Will Scott McTominay and Axel Tuanzebe be fit to start after returning to training?
So rather than at this stage creating a predicted line up, we have put together the team we would like Solskjaer to pick.
Who should be in?
Formation: United have enjoyed success this season with three central defenders in big games, most recently winning away at City.
This could work here away at Chelsea, which would allow Eric Bailly the chance to come back into the defence.
He can only make the backline stronger, and after featuring on the bench for the last month, it’s about time United get him back involved. Of course its very possible Solskjaer looks to use Luke Shaw in the role.
Players: Despite McTominay closing in on a return to fitness, Nemanja Matic has done enough to keep his place and will be motivated ahead of facing his former club at Stamford Bridge.
A midfield of Matic, Fred and Fernandes is well balanced and could create a platform to play two strikers.
Odion Ighalo must prove his fitness over the next week, and the game taking place on Monday rather than Saturday gives him extra time.
Throw him in from the start and give him maximum time to become a hero on his full debut. None of this ‘substituted on in the 84th minute’ rubbish.
As this is the team we would like to see, rather than the one we predict United will go with, he’s in up front alongside Anthony Martial, which should help the Frenchman out and give him greater license to roam and drop deep.
This is a strongly set up team defensively which Chelsea will could struggle to break down.
With two strikers and Fernandes playing behind them, United have enough attacking potency in the line up to cause the home side problems.
Fernandes is going to be key to everything United do, from open play and set pieces.
Three at the back is not a permanent solution for United but it has worked well, and with the options available and a lack of quality wingers, this could be the best approach at Stamford Bridge in a game the Red Devils cannot afford to lose.
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