Paul Pogba is set to return to the starting lineup when Mancheter United take on Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Boxing Day.
Manchester United will be looking to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League when they play hosts to Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Thursday evening. And, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to welcome back one of his squad’s key players in the Boxing Day affair.
Paul Pogba is full fit, having returned to action in the shock 2-0 loss at Watford this past weekend. The Frenchman should start for the first time in two months when Newcastle pay Manchester United a visit on Thursday. Solskjaer now has just three first-team player on the sidelines, each of them being defenders – Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo and Timothy Fosu-Mensah.
There are no concerns whatsoever in the goalkeeping department, although David de Gea is facing the heat after making a high profile error against Watford. There could be an urge to start Sergio Romero, but de Gea should retain his place in goal.
Defence is expected see one change, with Ashley Young likely to replace Luke Shaw. Young will be accompanied by Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire. As far as midfield is concerned, Pogba’s return ought to result in a shuffle in the formation, with Solskjaer preferring a 4-3-3.
The Manchester United manager did speak about Pogba while speaking to the media after the loss to Watford, Solskjaer also talked about the different ways he could utilise the Frenchman.
“He did really well when he came on. It’s a big, big plus and it might be that we do get him in from the start [against Newcastle] because you just want to get more and more [quality] into the team when he plays. He can play anywhere. He can play as a holding midfielder, he’s a box-to-box midfielder.”
“He can drop deep, get it, play those long passes, he can play higher up and combine like he did [at Watford]. That’s the beauty of having Paul because he is the best all-round midfielder in the world. He can perform all roles. There’s always going to be that discussion with him. But it’s great to have him back.”
Jesse Lingard is likely to be the player making way for Pogba, with Scott McTominay and Fred being the French midfielder’s partner in the middle of the park. Upfront, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Daniel James should make for a fluid three-pronged attack, with Martial leading the line for Manchester United against Newcastle to begin with.
Predicted Manchester United XI: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; McTominay, Fred, Pogba; James, Martial, Rashford