Six options to start for Manchester United in number 10 role v Liverpool
Injuries are taking over Manchester United’s season with Paul Pogba now ruled against Liverpool.
The Frenchman would have been ideal to play in the number 10 role, and there is no clear cut candidate to play there.
United have up to six players who could play in the role. And United must make do with the situation they have left themselves in.
Here is a look at the contenders…
United’s most experienced option is no longer the ‘safe’ choice. Mata has been awful in his recent starts in the position, failing to create a single chance against AZ Alkmaar and Newcastle.
Will a start at Old Trafford after a two week break do him some good, or is he simply not the player he once was?
Whether Mata is selected or not could depend on who plays behind him, as United cannot afford to select both the Spaniard and fellow veteran Nemanja Matic as part of the same midfield trio.
Pereira has been busting a gut out on the right wing over the past month, but may not be needed there with Anthony Martial’s return reshaping United’s front three.
United have the option to bring Pereira into his favoured central attacking position to see if he can make an impact.
He may feel he deserves the opportunity after his recent travails, but the jury is out on whether he has the ability to damage Liverpool.
His pre-season link up with Anthony Martial which saw him set up a goal against Tottenham could count in his favour.
One of three young players United could try in the position, this is Angel Gomes’ preferred role.
The teenager demonstrated his ability for England’s under-20s this past week, netting twice against Italy.
Getting change out of Fabinho will be a very tricky test for the young attacker, and he would be a bold choice. On the other hand, this could be the making of him.
One way to go at Liverpool is all out attack. And United could look to throw Mason Greenwood into a deeper role to join Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
Greenwood has the ability to create. He carved out five chances in game against Rochdale, his teammates just couldn’t take any.
Liverpool is a tougher test, but playing Greenwood in the position makes United’s attack more unpredictable and will stop the away side committing too many men forward to attack.
How about a baptism of fire for promising young Red Devils talent James Garner.
Garner looks fearless for the under-23s, showing a desire to shoot on sight.
He has seven goals in eight games from midfield for club and country this season.
Garner prefers to play deeper in midfield but his goalscoring ability makes him a threat and this is what United need out of their number 10 right now.
If it wasn’t for fitness problems, Lingard would probably be a certainty to start by default.
The likelihood is his hamstring injury suffered against Alkmaar will keep him out, but he remains in contention with the game a late Sunday kick-off.
His poor form in 2019 though means United aren’t exactly hanging on his possible return.
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