The international break is not quite over, but we can’t wait any longer to start looking ahead the the return of club football.
Manchester United take on West Bromwich Albion at home on Saturday evening and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a lot of big decisions to make.
United are looking to record back to back wins for the first time in the Premier League this season, and win a first league game at home in 2020/21 – at the fifth attempt.
There are a couple of factors to bear in mind at this early stage heading into the fixture.
1) United have players who have rested at Carrington for the last fortnight, and some who have played two or three matches around the world on international duty. This will play a part in team selection.
2) United have an important home fixture days later against Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League. The same XI which starts against West Brom will not start this match.
So you can use some of this to explore United’s strike options for instance.
While we would love to see Edinson Cavani starting, after a long trip to South America and back, it is more likely that a rested Mason Greenwood will get the nod. Cavani could then start in the Champions League.
In midfield Nemanja Matic and Fred are also both rested and could be picked to start.
If United go with a four man midfield, this could mean there is room for both Donny van de Beek and Bruno Fernandes.
Defensively we could see Axel Tuanzebe, but Solskjaer is so committed to Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof that he is unlikely to want to break up the partnership if he can avoid it.
The big question is at left-back with Luke Shaw injured. Alex Telles could start, but the combination of long travel and Covid uncertainty makes it unlikely.
Brandon Williams will probably start this game with Telles coming in against Istanbul.
Plenty can change between now and Saturday, there could be injuries or Covid positives still to come that we don’t know about, and a different formation could see some changes to this projected line up.
If United do go with this XI, you would feel confident of beating a West Brom side without a victory in the Premier League so far this season.
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