Why Dan James will be in contention for a start when Manchester United face RB Leipzig

When entering a big game, the usual go-to for managers is to pick the best players available.

But sometimes the best players for a certain night are not the outright ‘most talented’ options. The right players have to be selected for the right match.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is blessed with a multitude of options which leaves fans and pundits second-guessing his every decision after a defeat. He cannot please everybody.

Solskjaer has to go with what he believes in, and if he feels Welsh winger Dan James is best suited for Tuesday night’s match at RB Leipzig, he should not be afraid to make that call.

Anthony Martial lined up on the left side against PSG. It was not a success by any measure.

Martial can be lax in defending from the front, and his finishing lately has been atrocious. The benefits to starting him simply are not there.

James combats Leipzig’s strength

Leipzig are a team in form and their 4-3 win over Istanbul Basaksehir was impressive, from an attacking perspective.

One of the keys to that success was right-back Nordi Mukiele.

Mukiele had more touches than any player on the pitch (89), scored one goal, took four shots, and created four chances.

Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

Putting Dan James on the left wing up against him will cause him more hesitation to get forward.

James’ pace can make Mukiele pay for over-stretching himself, and the Welshman will be able to do his best to cover him defensively and help Alex Telles out.

Marcus Rashford’s injury situation also increases the possibility James could be involved as a starter.

Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

From an attacking perspective, James is building a little confidence. He scored an impressive goal for Wales during the international break and also netted in the Champions League against Istanbul Basaksehir.

It would not be a surprise to see him involved against West Ham on Saturday night.

James’ possible involvement against RB Leipzig will depend partly on which formation is used. If United go with a 4-2-3-1, then James has a chance of starting the biggest game of his career.

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