Manchester United have two win their remaining two games in the Premier League to guarantee a spot in the Champions League next season.
There is no time to pacify the Red Devils as they face a resurgent West Ham, managed by ex-United manager David Moyes, in a Premier Leauge clash at Old Trafford later this evening, Wednesday. After a disappointing exit in the FA Cup, the game could be a vital incentive to take players’ mind off from the Wembley calamity.
“A defeat isn’t the end of the world – it was the end of the FA Cup dream and the final, but now it’s business as usual and onto the next game.” – said an optimistic Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he looks forward to a crucial week for his side. Rightly so, Man United have to perform well in the league and they yet have a chance to grab a trophy this season in the Europa League.
With Solskjaer planning lineups with a vision of assignments ahead of him, there was a fair amount of rotation when Manchester United entered the Wembley pitch to face Chelsea. Now, let’s look at how the starting XI could look like against the Hammers.
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Man United Team News
Considering how Man United have performed at Old Trafford since the restart, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would try to keep the similar lineup which has fared so well in the home games, till now.
On a positive note, there are no additional injuries in the squad as confirmed by the manager.
I think everyone is available part from that. No more injuries from last week. We just have to stick together and stay strong. We have two more games to go and we’ve given ourselves a very good chance. (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in his pre-match Press Conference)
The forward trio of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Mason Greenwood are set to retain their starting places from the last home fixture. Daniel James, who made his first start since the league game against Tottenham, was unconvincing in his bid to reclaim a starting berth.
In midfield, Paul Pogba is set to be recalled into the starting eleven after having his rest against Chelsea on Sunday. Nemanja Matic is the most probable partner for the Frenchman in the midfield axis.
Ahead of the midfield duo, Bruno Fernandes, barring any unfortunate injury scenarios, is a nailed-down starter as the playmaker.
For the back-four, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, and Victor Lindelof are certain to feature from the kick-off. At left-back, Brandon Williams, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are the candidates for one available slot.
David de Gea hasn’t been the same since Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat trick against him at the 2018 World Cup 👀 pic.twitter.com/E4fCXiqkGM
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) July 20, 2020
On the back of an erroneous outing against the Blues, it would be a huge call for Solskjaer to decide whether David de Gea should retain his starting spot ahead of Sergio Romero. With games coming thick and fast, the Spain international could be given security, for a short term, with Europa League in hindsight.
Imparting mixed signals via his words, Solskjaer gave a cryptic reply when asked about David de Gea by saying;
We stick together as a group. Of course, we’re going to stick together as a group and as I said he’s proven before he’s mentally strong. We’ll stay together and we’ll see the team on Wednesday night.
You have to [make big calls]. Every position is a big one here so you’ve got to do what is right for the team and the club. Everything we talk about is between ourselves. We keep that relationship open and every player can trust me to keep that confidential. (quotes via MEN)
Injury-wise, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones are sidelined with long-term issues. Luke Shaw, after spraining his ankle against Southampton, could heal just in time to feature against West Ham.
Predicted Man United XI(4-2-3-1): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, Matic; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial;