Predicted Manchester United line-up v Aston Villa

After a long wait, Manchester United return to action tonight. It’s fair to say the side owe us a big performance.

Last week’s defeat to Wolves is still fresh in the memory and upcoming opponents Aston Villa are going to be similarly awkward to face, having already won 1-0 once at Old Trafford this season.

Ralf Rangnick has plenty of decisions to make regarding the line-up, starting with which formation he should pick.

The 4-2-2-2 was exposed by Wolves last week and it would be a surprise if Rangnick revisited it. We could see the interim boss return to a formation closer to the one United played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a 4-3-3.

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Who will Rangnick pick?

There are plenty of variables going into United’s selection tonight. We have taken a go at predicting how Rangnick’s Red Devils will line up.

In goal we should see Dean Henderson come in to make his usual cup appearance. Rangnick wants to keep Henderson, and giving him playing time is essential to keeping him happy.

Luke Shaw will miss United’s following game through suspension, so it would be silly to risk an injury to Alex Telles here. Expect the England international to stay in at left-back.

On the right, we should see a change, with Diogo Dalot’s recent performances better than those served up by Aaron Wan-Bissaka. The Portuguese ace should come back in.

In central defence Phil Jones will drop back to the bench for fit again Victor Lindelof. Harry Maguire is a little behind in his return, and he should be on the bench. Lindelof and Varane could be United’s best partnership.

Fred will return in midfield with Nemanja Matic dropping out, and so will Bruno Fernandes. The playmaker could play a more withdrawn role as part of a more comapact three, with Scott McTominay in there too.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

The shift in formation would mean only one striker starts, with Edinson Cavani dropping out. Cristiano Ronaldo will start up front.

Mason Greenwood will feature on the right and Marcus Rashford on the left, even if his form does not really deserve it. Jadon Sancho and Anthony Elanga will both also be under consideration.

In: Henderson, Lindelof, Dalot, Fred, Fernandes, Rashford

Out: De Gea, Jones, Wan-Bissaka, Matic, Sancho, Cavani,

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