Predicted Manchester United line-up v Brighton

Manchester United return to action against Brighton tonight and manager Ralf Rangnick has plenty to consider.

United are in desperate need of a win after drawing the last two Premier League games, and the mood among the fans is more reflective of two defeats.

United are set to welcome back Fred back, after he missed the last two games due to a positive Covid test.

The club’s official website reports that while Fred will return, Edinson Cavani and Nemanja Matic are ruled out with injuries.

Photo by Daniel Chesterton/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Two games in four days means changes likely

Even if United had won convincingly at the weekend, changes would have been likely for the upcoming fixture. This is the second game in four days, and third match in eight days.

Unless United are prepared to deploy Bruno Fernandes as a false nine in attack, then it is most likely Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line again up front. Edinson Cavani’s injury has taken away the option to rotate.

One change could come around Ronaldo, with Marcus Rashford dropping out. The England forward has been criticised for his lack of tracking back against Southampton and Anthony Elanga should get another chance to return to the side.

In midfield, Fred’s return presents a dilemma. Who will drop out, and do United want to take a defensive or attacking approach?

If Fred starts, either Paul Pogba will drop out and get a rest, and the ‘McFred’ duo will be reunited again with Bruno Fernandes also featuring.

The alternative is Scott McTominay is rested, with Fred partnering Paul Pogba. It is this combination we believe Ralf Rangnick will favour, with an eye on scoring goals at home, rather than trying to stifle Brighton.

An inablity to score goals has been United’s biggest problem and Brighton will try to frustrate United. A midfield of Fred, Pogba and Fernandes should take the game to them.

Potential defensive changes

Harry Maguire should have been left out at the weekend. Expect this popular decision to be taken tonight with Victor Lindelof coming in alongside Raphael Varane.

There could also be a change at left-back too, with Alex Telles a viable alternative to Luke Shaw. The England defender was poor against Southampton and this game is a good time for his Brazilian teammate to come back in.

Diogo Dalot will likely retain his place at right-back, with David de Gea in goal, keeping up the Spaniard’s ever present streak in the Premier League this season.

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