On Wednesday evening, Manchester United will face Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League at Old Trafford. United have struggled to score goals in their last two games, with Scott McTominay scoring the game-winner against Omonia Nicosia.
On Sunday, United had plenty of chances and had the ball in the back of the net twice, but neither was given. It’s a worrying sign for United, but the return of Anthony Martial, who has scored or assisted in every game this season, would be beneficial.
Spurs fans seem to think that their club is something to be proud of this season, despite them not able to beat Chelsea, West Ham United, or Arsenal this season but seemingly assuming that because they are in the Champions League, they have superiority over United – they don’t.
Manchester United Starting XI – 4-2-3-1
Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw;
Antony, Fernandes, Rashford;
Goalkeeper: De Gea
After making his 500th appearance for United in the 0-0 draw against Newcastle United, David De Gea will be seeking for United to build something against Spurs. United stopped points because they could not get the ball into the back of the net, and neither could the Magpies though.
A clean sheet for De Gea and his defense will be a confidence boost ahead of another big match with them coming thick and fast before mid-November when the FIFA World Cup commences in Qatar. United will need to rotate the squad and ensure points on the board.
De Gea wants to remain at United post this season but he will need to stand firm in his position to win that with his current contract coming to an end next summer, although there is the option of a further year to be added on by the club.
Defenders: Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Shaw
United’s defense has done some good this season but there is more to be done. The signings of Lisandro Martinez and Tyrell Malacia have added two good players to the club but the Argentinian is perhaps the best of the two signings Erik ten Hag made. United has started to recover defensively.
Martinez and Raphael Varane have been a decent defensive pairing with Harry Maguire on the sidelines through injury, despite the fact he has been benched by the Argentinian this season, based on what he has given to the club in terms of performances. They should continue that partnership.
Diogo Dalot is the only fit right-back at the club, which will need to change as early as January, starting each of United’s matches so far this season. Luke Shaw is a player returning to form but is perhaps a couple of matches from achieving full-match fitness. Both should start against the Spurs.
Midfield: Casemiro, McTominay
United’s midfield suffered against Newcastle with Christian Eriksen out through illness and Scott McTominay out through suspension. Both should be back against Spurs but some changes need to be made to United to try and get them purring a bit better.
Casemiro should keep his place in the starting XI because what he has offered in the last three matches has been largely positive which is a sign that he is starting to find his feet at United. His Man of the Match performance against Everton was the key for him, I think.
Eriksen should start if fit, but in the two-man midfield, I would give McTominay a chance to form a partnership with Casemiro, giving United rotation options that will need to be in place until and even after the World Cup. Eriksen could play further up the pitch.
Substitutes: Dubravka; Lindelof, Malacia; Fernandes, Fred, Pellistri; Ronaldo, Sancho, Elanga