Should Paul Pogba be given a rest against Newcastle despite Fred absence?
Paul Pogba has started the season in red hot form, but the last thing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will want is his midfield star to suffer from burnout or worst yet, get injured.
There has been no repeat of last season’s sloppy start from Pogba, who clearly started the campaign still feeling the effects after contracting coronavirus.
Despite the constant scrutiny surrounding his long-term future at the club, United’s number six has started this season like a man on a mission.
He has assisted five of United’s seven goals and he will be targeting further goalscoring contributions in Saturday’s clash against Newcastle.
Should Solskjaer rest Paul Pogba?
Pogba played every minute of France’s three matches during the international break, even Raphael Varane was afforded a rest against Ukraine.
The 28-year-old would have expected his national side to go all the way at Euro 2020 and not get knocked out against Switzerland, but it worked out well for United that he was able to have a longer rest.
It’s very rare that Didier Deschamps rests Pogba when he is fit and available for selection.
With our first Champions League group stage match away to Young Boys three days after we welcome Newcastle to Old Trafford, Solskjaer could be tempted to rotate his midfield.
With the chances of Cristiano Ronaldo starting increasing following his early release to United from Portugal duty, Pogba isn’t going to want to watch the United legend’s homecoming from the bench, he’ll want to be the man to assist Ronaldo’s first goal back at Old Trafford.
A game for Matic and VDB
Similar to the first game of the season against Leeds, Nemanja Matic and Donny van de Beek come into the Newcastle game having had the most preparation at Carrington.
The pair started United’s final pre-season match together in the 4-0 win against Everton.
But against a Newcastle side that will no doubt set up to frustrate, is a combination of van de Beek and Matic too pragmatic?
Solskjaer will be torn whether to rest Paul Pogba
The Norwegian knows that he needs to trust and utilise his full squad if we are to be fresh for the closing stages of the season and hopefully still challenging on multiple fronts.
But after making his best start to a season as the United manager, he won’t want to undo the momentum and ecstasy the club is building surrounding the return of Ronaldo with a sloppy ponderous display against Newcastle.
It could be that Solskjaer decides to start Pogba and if we have the game won by half-time then the likes of Pogba and Fernandes can get a well-earned rest.
If Fred was available, the chances of Pogba being given a rest would have increased as the Brazilian was able to use this international break as an opportunity to go on holiday and come back fresh.
The Matic and van de Beek partnership is an option, but it will probably one not both of them starting on Saturday alongside Pogba, with the other potentially replacing the former Juventus man if the three points are secured nice and early.
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