Predicted Manchester United XI v Middlesbrough

Manchester United return to action tonight in a rare Friday night fixture. This is the FA Cup fourth round tie against Middlesbrough.

United are keen to put together a serious run in the competition and a victory tonight will get the month off to a much-needed strong start. So expect a near strongest XI of the players available.

After winning two games before the break, United have since loaned out Anthony Martial, Donny van de Beek and Amad. Separately, Mason Greenwood is also not considered for selection.

In other team news, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani are also unavailable, with Alex Telles questionable after featuring for Brazil in midweek. Fred did not play and returned earlier. Eric Bailly is also injured.

Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Grading Every Club's January Transfer Window

Team selection dilemma

One of the big decisions for Ralf Rangnick comes over who starts in goal. David de Gea is clear number one, but this match brings a rare opportunity for Dean Henderson to get a game as ‘cup goalkeeper’.

While De Gea started the last round, Henderson’s immediate future is no longer clouding the situation in the background. Henderson has a good chance of being called up for this game.

Luke Shaw will start at left-back, while Diogo Dalot is likely to keep his place on the right. Among the centre-backs, there is a dilemma.

The decision at centre-back is made easier because Victor Lindelof is ill and Eric Bailly injured, Ralf Rangnick explained, so Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane will start.

In midfield it is unnecessary for Fred to start after international involvement. This game we will likely see Paul Pogba make his comeback in his place.

The game gives United to trial a three man midfield of Pogba, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes. The attacking quality they provide should be too much for Middlesbrough.

Cristiano Ronaldo will start up front with Jadon Sancho on the right wing. The battle is on the left between Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga.

Rashford may get the nod, in the hope that his previously successful partnership with Luke Shaw on the left can help both players out.

Thoughts? Comment Below
LOGIN to Comment
LOGIN to Comment
Dan is still wondering what would have happened if United had kept Juan Veron...