Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag could make as many as three changes from the side that beat West Ham in the Premier League last time out for Sunday’s showdown with Aston Villa.
The Red Devils played against Real Sociedad in midweek, winning 1-0 in their Europa League clash. But, with Ten Hag appearing to have priorities between competitions, it looks like things are set to be different once again as he looks for all three points
*David De Gea
*Donny van de Beek
Goalkeeper: De Gea
United are yet to drop David De Gea this season, with the Spain international starting every match since Ten Hag’s appointment.
And there’s no reason to see that changing ahead of Sunday’s fixture at Villa Park.
But with De Gea operating at the peak of his powers at present, he’s expected to keep his place between the sticks.
Therefore, Dubravka’s wait for a debut is set to go on a little longer
Defense: Dalot, Lindelof, Martinez, Shaw
Against West Ham last week, United started with Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez at center-back.
But with Victor Lindelof coming in for the win over Sociedad, it’s feasible that the Sweden international will secure a starting berth once again.
Though Ten Hag rates Maguire, a fully fit Lindelof is seen as the best possible candidate to partner with Martinez in the absence of Harry Maguire.
Diogo Dalot should then go at right-back, with the former Porto star an ever-present in the team this term.
And that means Luke Shaw at left-back, with the England international currently winning his battle with Tyrell Malacia for a starting berth.
Midfield: Casemiro, Eriksen, Fred
Donny van de Beek failed to make the most of a rare start for United against Sociedad on Thursday night.
And with Bruno Fernandes suspended for the match in the Midlands, all signs point to Fred being deployed in the No 10 position on Sunday afternoon.
He’s shown his use in that position at times under Ten Hag and appeared liberated playing further forward under Ralf Rangnick last season.
Casemiro should start behind him, with the Brazil international going from strength to strength after a slow start to life in the top flight.
And it’s hard to see Christian Eriksen missing out, especially with United managing his game time over their last two matches.
Attack: Garnacho, Ronaldo, Rashford
Though Alejandro Garnacho has flourished on the left wing, he’s also capable of playing on the right.
So we’re expecting him to come into the Premier League team at the expense of Anthony Elanga, who failed to make his mark against the Hammers last week.
Anthony Martial is edging closer to a return to fitness but the game on Sunday would be a risky one when it comes to unleashing the France international from the start.
Consequently, Cristiano Ronaldo is primed to lead the team in the No 9 position.
And Marcus Rashford will be hoping to build on his century of goals if, as expected, he’s deployed on the left wing.