Manchester United have the opportunity to return to winning ways when they face West Ham United in Saturday’s Premier League game at the London Stadium. The Red Devils suffered a shock League Cup defeat at the hands of Derby County in midweek and this has certainly upped the pressure on head coach Jose Mourinho, who has already witnessed his team drop eight points from the opening six matches of the Premier League season.
David de Gea was given a rest for the midweek League Cup tie against Derby but he should return to the mix for Saturday’s early Premier League kickoff. Last season’s Premier League Golden Glove winner has witnessed a rather odd start to the campaign with just one clean sheet from the first six matches.
In defence, Diogo Dalot may not be risked for the second game on the bounce having only recently returned after his knee surgery and this should witness skipper Antonio Valencia return on the right wing.
Likewise, Luke Shaw should slot into the left side of the defence with Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof occupying the heart of the backline. Smalling and Lindelof have remained Mourinho’s preferred central defensive partnership for each of the previous three matches.
Onto the midfield, Nemanja Matic is pretty much a certainty to feature after missing the previous weekend against Wolverhampton Wanderers with a suspension and he could be paired alongside Fred, who deserves to retain his starting spot for the Premier League after an impressive display versus Wolves where he opened the scoring.
The 4-3-3 formation has been Mourinho’s preferred choice during the opening weeks of the campaign but we are anticipating a switch to the traditional 4-2-3-1 setup this weekend with Paul Pogba a probable candidate to miss the encounter altogether.
Pogba has witnessed a strained relationship with manager Mourinho since the backend of the previous campaign and most recently on Wednesday, he was involved in an exchange of words in training with the Portuguese tactician which may cost him his place.
In this case, Mourinho may decide upon a more attack-minded option and this may witness both Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial featuring on the right and left side of the attack respectively.
Alexis Sanchez has looked a rather forlorn figure with his limited impact since joining the club but based on Mourinho’s recent selection, it would not be a surprise, if the Chilean makes the starting XI.
We are fancying him to start in the number 10 position just behind Romelu Lukaku, who also has plenty to prove after missing yet another clear-cut opportunity in midweek. The Belgian has netted on four occasions this term but he could have quite easily doubled his tally with the straight-forward chances that were up for grabs.
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