Manchester United cannot afford another setback when they come up against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Thursday evening.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men relinquished a golden opportunity to reach third in the Premier League and solidify themselves as favourites for a top four finish with the gut-wrenching draw against Southampton.
But Champions League qualification remains in United’s hands as long as they can secure victories in their last three league games.
United’s impressive 18-game unbeaten run has been built on continuity in selection but Solskjaer was arguably guilty of naming a fifth consecutive unchanged side against the Saints with some players looking lethargic at Old Trafford.
Unfortunately, United’s lack of squad depth affords Solskjaer the luxury of just a handful of changes that won’t seriously inhibit chances of victory against Roy Hodgson’s side that rather like Southampton, have very little to play for.
But Solskjaer is bound to make some changes and the Norwegian faces a dilemma at left-back with both Luke Shaw and Brandon Williams both injury doubts.
Shaw has started all 18 games in United’s unbeaten run and requires a rest ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea, regardless of whether he makes a full recovery from an ankle roll.
Williams suffered a nasty head injury against Southampton, but should start if available against Palace. Otherwise, Diogo Dalot could come straight into the starting XI after missing out on the last nine league matchday squads.
Nemanja Matic looked cumbersome and was overrun at times on Monday evening. Scott McTominay should come in as a replacement for the Serbian as he will be another likely starter against Chelsea this weekend.
While Pogba and Fernandes could both benefit from a rest, we feel the pair are almost too critical to United in attacking transition to drop in what is a must-win game.
Solskjaer may opt to rest Fernandes for the likes of Andreas Pereira in midfield but we feel this is a decision that he would come to regret given the lack of creativity the Brazilian offers.
Meanwhile, Mason Greenwood appeared tired and failed to make an impact on Monday so could be replaced by Daniel James on the right-flank.
James has the ability to stretch the Palace defence, and could be substituted in the second-half for Greenwood if the game becomes cagey and United are in need of a goal.
It’s key that Solskjaer makes a few tweaks on Thursday evening but we do not expect wholesale changes for what is another huge league game.
4-2-3-1: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Williams, McTominay, Pogba, Rashford, Fernandes, James, Martial