Marcus Rashford was named Manchester United’s player of the month after an outstanding December.
Now he has to do it all again in an even bigger set of January fixtures.
Admittedly, the month has not got off to the best start. Rashford did not get much of a look in away at Arsenal, and he hit the bar against Wolves instead of scoring.
Up against City tonight, Rashford has a big role to play and will have to be at his very best.
Rashford was at the heart of United’s win over City in early December. He looked unstoppable in the previous victory over Tottenham too.
His form has gradually slowed down, and he just needs to raise it up a notch again to get back to that level.
United need him to, with Anthony Martial battling illness heading into this fixture.
Mason Greenwood played 90 minutes against Wolves and has never been picked to start two games in a row by Solskjaer. So the goalscoring and creative burden will fall strongly on Rashford.
That should be alright, with Rashford’s knack of stepping up in big games becoming a trademark so early in his career, but he will have a target on his back.
Rashford posted a tweet after this tie was drawn, almost taunting City, saying these were the ‘best games to play’ and ‘best games to win’.
Don’t think City will not have seen that. Not for a second. They will be putting extra effort into shutting Rashford down and trying to make sure his words come back to haunt him.
While this is a match over two legs, United have to win tonight’s home game. And to do so, Rashford will probably need to add to his 16 goals this season.
An early goal could really throw City off their game, and it would be fitting for Rashford to belatedly get United’s 2020 up and running by getting Old Trafford rocking.
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