Predicted Manchester United XI v Villarreal: Carrick picks first side
Manchester United face Villarreal tonight in a crucial Champions League fixture.
United will have a fresh look in the dugout, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer relieved of his duties after defeat to Watford at the weekend.
Don’t expect a drastic overhaul. Assistant coach Michael Carrick will be the club’s caretaker manager.
Carrick told a press conference: “I’ve worked closely with Ole for a long time now and we have very similar beliefs like we did as players and obviously as manager.
“Yes, of course, I’ve got my own personality to Ole but of course it’s going to be similar because that’s why we’ve worked together for so long.”
United are without Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood, while Luke Shaw is a doubt due to a concussion against Watford.
Shaw’s availability may provide a chance to Alex Telles, who notably scored a crucial goal in United’s first game against Villarreal.
This is likely to be United’s only change to the backline – we should see some adjustment in midfield.
Carrick is likely going to favour a more possession based approach, while also rewarding Donny van de Beek for his performance at the weekend.
Bruno Fernandes will drop out, he looks spent at the moment, and United’s midfield will resemble more of a flat three, than two anchors and a forward player.
Van de Beek will partner Fred and Scott McTominay in the middle and that trio should have the right combination of tenacity and energy to compete against a dogged Villarreal side.
In attack Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho will be asked to support Ronaldo.
In: Telles, Van de Beek, Fred. Out: Shaw, Matic, Fernandes
This line-up has enough changes without ripping up the team, giving Carrick a chance to put his own input on the side, while also taking into account Luke Shaw’s fitness issues.
United will have Bruno Fernandes, Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, and Jesse Lingard all to call on as attacking options from the bench.
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