Harry Maguire could surprisingly return to action and start in defence for Manchester United as the Red Devils take on Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
Manchester United need to bounce back from their woeful 2-0 defeat to Arsenal at Emirates. While their Saturday opponents, Norwich City have their own share of problems to deal with, Manchester United’s injury woes have somewhat dampened their chances of a charge towards the top four in recent times.
David de Gea is a certainty in goal, but the back four ahead of him could see some changes. For one, Harry Maguire was injured during the 3-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester City at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
But, what was considered a long-term injury seems to have been just a niggle, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claiming in his pre-match conference that the Englishman could return as early as the Norwich match.
“He’s got a chance of tomorrow so we’ll give him today training and see if he gets through that one because it wasn’t a bad one. We’ll see tomorrow.”
Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka should start in defence, with the Ashley Young likely to complete the back four. As far as rehabilitation is concerned, Eric Bailly and Timothy Fosu-Mensah both featured for the Under-23s as United beat Newcastle United 2-1 on Friday night. The duo is likely to return to first-team action in the coming days.
The midfield woes have worsened after the injury to Scott McTominay. While Fred has done well in Paul Pogba’s absence, Nemanja Matic has floundered and it will be interesting to see whether the Serb keeps his place.
In the number 10 role, Andreas Pereira and Juan Mata will compete to start, with Jesse Lingard sidelined with an illness. United would need a creative boost against a potential low block and could start Mata ahead of Pereira. There are options like Dylan Levitt and James Garner to replace Matic.
But, either of the duo is unlikely to be handed a start. Instead, we could see Andreas Pereira starting in the midfield double pivot to partner Fred once again.
The rest of the front three pick themselves, with Daniel James, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. Tahith Chong did not feature for the Under-23s and should be on the bench for Manchester United against Norwich, along with Mason Greenwood, who started for United in the defeat to Manchester City during the midweek.
Predicted Manchester United XI: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Young; Pereira, Fred; James, Mata, Rashford; Martial