Manchester United are back in action tonight as they welcome Villarreal to Old Trafford – a repeat of that agonising Europa League final in May earlier this year.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under increasing pressure at Manchester United, having lost three of his last four games in all competitions. Last weekend’s late defeat to Aston Villa dented his side’s chances of winning the Premier League this season.
United are already up against in their Champions League group, having lost the opening game against Young Boys two weeks ago. Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the surprising 2-1 defeat and is replaced by Diogo Dalot in the side, with Alex Telles taking up a role on the left-hand side in place of the injured Luke Shaw.
Paul Pogba takes up a role in central midfield next to Scott McTominay, meaning Fred takes a place on the bench after a troubling start to the season.
The selection means the break-up of Solskjaer’s preferred midfield-two of McTominay and Fred. The infamous duo is a mainstay in the Norwegian manager’s side but he is yet to bear the fruits of the tentative partnership in terms of on-pitch success.
Some fans have taken to Twitter to express their delight at Solskjaer’s decision to go for a more attacking midfield, as opposed to the rigid partnership of McTominay and Fred, as seen below.
No McFred. Omg. I’m screaming.
— L E R T (@LerthonTheuma) September 29, 2021
Happy to see Sancho's name there!
— Tina Tengra 🙅🏻♀️ (@tinatengra07) September 29, 2021
Can’t ask for more attacking than this. Sancho, Ronaldo, Greenwood with Bruno behind them. https://t.co/Pmxkw7QnGd
— Tyler Dunne (@TDunneSFGiants) September 29, 2021
I really, really, really need McT-Pogba-Bruno to work.
— ً (@utdrobbo) September 29, 2021
Right call by Solskjaer to go for a more attack-minded front six, given recent performances and Villarreal's issues, and to recall Sancho. Midfield of Pogba and McTominay had to be trialled sooner rather than later. #mufc
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) September 29, 2021
No MCFRED, ole with the mind games 🤛🏼
— Ethan Timmins (@_ethxn_timminss) September 29, 2021
No McFred in the starting lineup tonight! Hope Ole gets it right for real now. #UCL
— Ryan Adams (@RyanAdams_10) September 29, 2021
The McFred defensive midfield pairing has been broken up. Pogba in a deeper role alongside McTominay. Sancho back in the starting XI.
— Charlotte Duncker (@CharDuncker) September 29, 2021
It’s a strong team selection from Solskjaer but after a run of inconsistent performances, only results will please the supporters at this stage.