Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is likely to hand new arrival Odion Ighalo his Manchester United debut as they head to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea in the Premier League.
With the winter break, Manchester United had a great chance of getting their players some deserved rest after being overworked due to squad injuries. The training at Marbella would have done them a lot of good and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be hoping that can show against Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday night.
The first bout of team news comes in the form of updates for Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay and Timothy Fosu-Mensah. While they did take part in the warm weather training, Solskjaer confirmed in the pre-match conference that the match will come too early for the trio, who are slowly regaining their fitness.
“I don’t think we’ll get anyone back for the Chelsea game. Because Scotty, Axel, Tim, they didn’t join too much so they’re not ready to play that game. And Paul is not ready, of course.”
David de Gea should be in goal, with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka among the ones that are certain to start in defence. Should Ole go for a four-man backline, we are likely to see Brandon Williams on the left, completing the defence.
In midfield, we should have the pivot of Nemanja Matic and Fred to take care of things. Bruno Fernandes should start in his natural number 10 role for the first time for Manchester United in what will be his away debut for the club. Daniel James will be a handful for Chelsea players to deal with due to his pace and that should earn him a place in the starting eleven.
Odion Ighalo has joined up with teammates after the precaution taken due to Coronavirus, but Solskjaer refused to speculate on a potential first start for the former Watford striker.
“I never said he was going to be ready to play on Monday.He’ll travel with us and let’s see if he’s involved or not. He’s done his [training programme] and it was always going to be a case of him having to integrate into the group anyway after having been out in China. He needs to get used to the players and the team and up to speed as quick as he can.”
Should Ighalo be handed a start for the clash against Chelsea, we will ideally see Anthony Martial shift to the left side of the attack in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Predicted Manchester United Starting XI: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Williams; Fred, Matic; James, Fernandes, Martial; Ighalo