On Sunday afternoon, Manchester United will travel to Craven Cottage to face Fulham in the Premier League. It will be United’s penultimate fixture before the FIFA World Cup, with a handful of players heading to Qatar and those remaining in Manchester taking some time off before a winter training break in Spain with friendly matches.
United was defeated in the league by Aston Villa on Sunday but defeated the Birmingham club 4-2 in the Carabao Cup on Thursday evening. It was one of United’s greatest games in recent weeks, with goals from Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, and Scott McTominay, as well as assists from Alejandro Garnacho and Fernandes.
It is important for United to beat Fulham and finish ahead of the FIFA World Cup on a high, getting over the blip that was the Villa match last weekend. United has shown that some changes in the team can do a lot of difference and losing Cristiano Ronaldo from the squad has once again enhanced United, which is a good thing. United plays at a quicker pace without him.
Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1
Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Martinez, Shaw;
Fernandes, Rashford, Garnacho;
Goalkeeper: De Gea
David De Gea was an unused substitute for the 4-2 victory over Aston Villa on Thursday at Old Trafford meaning that he will be fresh to take on Fulham on Sunday. The past few weeks have been good for United and De Gea, other than the defeat to Villa at Villa Park last Sunday which saw United play a very poor game of football. The confidence is coming back though.
Martin Dubravka had a good debut for United against Villa this week and despite that, he looks set to remain on the bench in the Premier League against Fulham so will have to wait a bit longer for his first Premier League appearance for United. He will probably play in the Carabao Cup this season with Burnley up next for United in December.
Defenders: Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Martinez, Shaw
United’s defense will be weaker without Diogo Dalot involved this weekend. It could well be that Aaron Wan-Bissaka has a way back into the squad this season after just four minutes of action so far. He was last on the bench at the start of the month against Real Sociedad, so Victor Lindelof could play in this position. Erik ten Hag will have a plan for this position.
Luke Shaw should start after being rested on Thursday evening in the 4-2 victory over Villa. He has been a positive player this season and seems to be finding his form at the right time, although the spoils of that could be had by England in the World Cup in Qatar. Shaw is a talented player and is one of the ingredients for United to find that success once again.
Midfield: Casemiro, Eriksen
United’s defense could be back the first-choice players against Fulham after both were kind of rested against Villa on Thursday evening. Casemiro was missed for United with Fred not really up to the task of living up to the expectations at United for this match, which could be damaging for him in the future if it keeps on happening. We shall see what happens there.
Christian Eriksen was another player missed but he definitely needed a bit of a break ahead of Sunday’s match and participation in the World Cup for Denmark later this month. Eriksen continue his positive play when he came on against Villa with United pushing for the victory that they got – albeit it was a hard task at times. United has a great player here.
Attacking Midfield: Fernandes, Rashford, Garnacho
The attacking areas for United have some problems with Antony and Jadon Sancho seemingly still out of action but Erik ten Hag has made some changes to get through this period. Bruno Fernandes has played on the right more often than not recently and on Thursday, played well in the second half – even getting a goal and an assist in that match.
Marcus Rashford could benefit from the number ten role as on the right his impact has not been all that positive. Playing behind the striker could see a formation similar to a 4-4-2 or even a 4-4-1-1 which could benefit the striker. Rashford has eight goals and three assists so far this season and could be certain to add to that under the right conditions.