Manchester United have another semi-final to try and win. Once again Manchester City lie in our path.
Unlike last season, United have a near fully fit squad to choose from. Phil Jones is the only injury absentee. He started last year’s home leg against City.
United started that match with a three man midfield of Fred, Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard. Only Fred is likely to start this time around.
Two changes from the weekend
United are likely to approach this game with four midfielders. Whether Paul Pogba is on the left of a diamond or drifting out to the left wing will become clear in the game, but we will call it a diamond for now.
The change in midfield could come with Nemanja Matic coming in for Scott McTominay.
Matic was excellent in games against City last season, even scoring the winner in the away leg. He brings a balance to the team and has begun to show improvement over the past two weeks after a slow start to the campaign.
McTominay’s energy could be vital from the bench, with both teams able to use five substitutes for the fixture.
The big call could come in goal. Dean Henderson will be looking to retain his place as United’s cup goalkeeper.
Solskjaer ripped up this thinking last season and dropped Sergio Romero for David de Gea in all three semi-finals. It didn’t work out and he ended up ostracising the Argentine. It is likely he sticks with Henderson for this one and gives the England international a chance to really prove himself.
Solskjaer told his press conference he has a full squad to choose from, suggesting Victor Lindelof is available again.
The manager will be tempted to recall the Swede, but he should stick with Eric Bailly.
Bailly’s form has shown he deserves to stay in, and he can have his rest against Watford in the FA Cup at the weekend.
The Ivorian was harshly dropped for the Europa League semi-final last season after a strong quarter-final performance. This is a chance for the manager to give the centre-back the opportunity he has earned with a particularly strong run of form.
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