Manchester United need Paul Pogba to produce another big performance this weekend against Leicester City.
Yes, it is fair to say there may already be too much pressure on the Frenchman, but these are the big games in which he needs to step up.
And make no mistake, this is a big game. Leicester are three points above us, and fancy their chances of knocking us out of the top six.
A win at Old Trafford would make a major statement and lift them six points above us after just five matches.
It was very different when the two teams met at Old Trafford last season on the opening day.
United entered that campaign on the back of a difficult summer under Jose Mourinho, but we at least did so having finished second the year before.
Leicester were floundering under unpopular boss Claude Puel, and have now replaced him with the more ambitious Brendan Rodgers.
Paul Pogba scored United’s opener in the game from the penalty spot, and helped United into a 2-0 lead before a late Foxes consolation.
His performance was hailed by Jose Mourinho, in what was his first match since the World Cup final.
Mourinho told BBC Sport: “Pogba was a monster. We thought maximum 60 minutes but he managed over 80.”
Pogba rated as Whoscored.com‘s man-of-the-match, making 91 touches and six successful dribbles past opponents.
United’s three-man midfield that day is not likely to be the one starting this weekend. It was Paul Pogba, Andreas Pereira and Fred.
Fred has not played a single minute all year, while Pereira has started only two of four matches.
Pogba’s own motivation has come into question. After the Leicester win, he told BBC Sport: “I like challenges, I want to progress and win more trophies.”
That sort of buoyancy has been lacking from him this summer. He seems a bit worn down, and is being asked to do too much in a team which do not look capable of winning silverware.
Now even his penalty taking, an asset that day, has become a worrisome issue.
Leicester themselves have grown too, they are a better side. The game last season was James Maddison’s Premier League debut and while he performed well in defeat, he has got even better and more confident.
Adrien Silva, a starter that day, has been replaced by Youri Tielemans, who is a more dangerous player, as United might find out.
Facing Leicester this weekend will be tougher, and United need Pogba at his best if we are going to get three points.
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