Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have to make some tough decisions in terms of his team selection as Manchester United face Newcastle United on Saturday.
Following a thumping 6-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United are desperate to bounce back to winning form, when they face Newcastle United at St. James’ Park on Saturday evening.
It is a game where manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to make some key decisions, especially in defence, where club captain Harry Maguire is a doubt. The Englishman has had a miserable start to the campaign and was sent off against Denmark during the international break.
🗣️ “We look forward to integrating the new signings,” says Ole.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 16, 2020
Solskjaer has unequivocally backed Maguire, stating, “I know he’s a lad that doesn’t want to hide. He doesn’t want to hide behind a red card or a bad performance. He wants to go out there and prove himself.”
“I don’t doubt his resilience in that respect and he’s very professional, so he wants to put himself ready for selection and then it’s up to me to choose him or not, if I want to take him out of the firing line.”
Unfortunately, Maguire may have to sit this game out due to his lack of fitness, thus enabling Eric Bailly to pair up with Victor Lindelof at the heart of the four-man Manchester United backline. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should retain their roles as full-backs, with David de Gea starting in goal.
Moving forward, Solskjaer might consider switching to a 4-3-1-2 formation considering the fact that he is missing two of his strikers in Anthony Martial (suspended) and new signing Edinson Cavani, who is currently in quarantine.
Odion Ighalo is always an option, but we might see Marcus Rashford spearheading the United attack this weekend, with additional support from Mason Greenwood and Bruno Fernandes, who is set to operate in his preferred number ten role.
The exclusion of an additional forward should give Solskjaer reason to deploy new signing Donny van de Beek in central midfield. The Dutchman has been unfortunate with lack of chances after joining from Ajax this summer.
This weekend, however, van de Beek could operate alongside Paul Pogba in central midfield, with Nemanja Matic featuring in the number six slot, where he will be tasked with the responsibility of providing defensive cover for the backline.
Manchester United Predicted XI: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Lindelof, Shaw; Matic; Pogba, van de Beek; Fernandes; Greenwood, Rashford