Manchester United face Atalanta in the Champions League tonight so we’re going to give our predicted XI for the game, as per usual.
Lapses in concentration and a lack of a coherent plan saw Manchester United trail the same opposition by two goals at half-time in the reverse fixture, but thanks to a dramatic comeback, the Reds claimed all three points.
The Italian side were unable to deal with United’s substitutions on the night, which included Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani. At least one of those players is expected to feature on another star-studded bench tonight.
But how will the Reds line up from the start?
Will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opt for three centre-backs in a 5-3-2 formation like we saw in the 3-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend? That worked, United looked organised and kept Spurs at bay to the point they were unable to register a single shot on target in 90 minutes.
Or does Solskjaer revert back to a familiar 4-2-3-1 knowing that Victor Lindelof is absent due to injury? That way he can start both Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, with the latter in need of games to prove himself in a United shirt.
Manchester United predicted XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, Telles; Fred, McTominay, Fernandes; Cavani, Ronaldo.
Manchester United squad: De Gea, Henderson, Heaton, Bailly, Dalot, Maguire, Shaw, Telles, Varane, Wan-Bissaka, Fernandes, Fred, Lingard, Mata, Matic, McTominay, Pogba, Van de Beek, Amad, Cavani, Greenwood, Martial, Rashford, Ronaldo, Sancho.
Given the context of this fixture, Solskjaer’s job is still very much on the line and he needs to stick with the players he can trust (Rashford has been excellent from the bench in recent matches and is still returning to full match fitness). That’s why I think he will stick with Cavani and Ronaldo up top, just like he plans to on Saturday in the Manchester derby.