When Manchester United hit form, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likes to stick with a winning formula. At the end of last season Solskjaer selected the same XI for five consecutive Premier League games.
After a crushing 9-0 win against Southampton, Solskjaer will be very tempted to go with the same team for this weekend’s home fixture against Everton.
One player could change this. Solskjaer has to figure out where to fit Paul Pogba in.
Pogba has been in good form himself
United simply rested Pogba in midweek with the expected aim of bringing him back for the Everton tie. The problem for him now is that Fred and Scott McTominay played so well, they don’t deserve to sit this one out.
Fred and McTominay starred in midfield too when United beat Everton 3-1 at Goodison Park.
Pogba did feature in the win against Everton in the Carabao Cup, although United played a four-man midfield in this fixture.
Pogba has been in good form over the last month, scoring two goals, and excelling in a variety of roles.
Solskjaer will be tempted to bring him in, but his options to do so are limited.
Three ways to fit Pogba into the team
United have three ways to get Pogba into the team. The first and most obvious is to swap him in for Scott McTominay.
McTominay was outstanding against Southampton, but he did sustain an injury as a result of the first minute red card tackle he was at the end of. He played on, but the mark was visible and may have been sore after the game. If he is not at 100 per cent, then it make sense to rest him for a fresh Pogba.
The second way is to start Pogba on the right wing. United did this against Liverpool away, and the benefit of doing so is that it allows the McTominay and Fred midfield combination to continue.
Solskjaer praised the link-up between Mason Greenwood and Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right in midweek. So he may want to stick with this. A potential drawback is the left side is one of Everton’s strengths with Lucas Digne impressive again in midweek, and Pogba may be able to offer more in defence than Greenwood to combat this.
What United shouldn’t do is play Pogba on the left, and shift Marcus Rashford to the right. Rashford is so much more effective when he plays on the left side, his favoured role.
The third option available to United is to change the system up and go with a four-man midfield. This worked in the Carabao Cup win over Everton and would allow Solskjaer to get Pogba in, although sacrificing some width.
It’s very possible Pogba just ends up sitting on the bench, despite the options available.
United won at Everton without him last time in the league and the players who started against Southampton more than justified their cases to keep their spots, even though Pogba has done little wrong himself.
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