It might have been Northampton, but at least Manchester United are back to winning ways. Jose Mourinho now needs to find the right balance in order to pick up three points at home to Leicester City in Saturday’s early kick-off. Here’s the eleven I think he should put out against Ranieri’s men in order to pick up a much-needed 3 points in the Premier League.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
No debate here. De Gea is the undisputed number 1 at United and he will, quite rightly, retain his place on Saturday afternoon.
Defence: Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw
Valencia has been one of United’s best players so far this season and he will be the right back again on Saturday. It’s important he develops a good relationship with the attack-minded Rashford. Shaw has struggled to get back to his best form following his long-term injury – but he is certainly a better option than Marcos Rojo, who in truth, looks a misfit at the club and I cannot see him remaining at the club beyond next summer if Mourinho is still in charge. Bailly started his United career very well and although his form has dropped off a bit, he deserves to keep his place in the back four. Alongside him, on merit I would suggest that Blind deserves to return to the heart of defence. When he partnered Bailly at the start of the season United looked solid and were winning games. Blind and Bailly seem to complement each other well and although the Dutchman does look or even act like a standard central defender, he is effective there and as Mourinho looks to steady the ship a bit, it might be worth putting him back in.
Midfield: Marouane Fellaini; Ander Herrera Paul Pogba
When you spend £90million on a player, you need to build around him to make sure you are getting the most out of the player. At the moment, Mourinho is accommodating Rooney by playing a 4-2-3-1, and it really doesn’t work. It’s time to accept that Rooney’s best days are over and his role in the squad should now be limited to a bit part one. In a 4-3-3, Pogba will have more freedom to showcase his attacking qualities and it will give him the creative license to roam in the final third. Carrick was good against Northampton, but on the whole Fellaini has played the holding role very well and he surely deserves to keep his place at the base of midfield. Herrera is a very productive player and after scoring against Northampton in the week I think he deserves to get a spot in this starting eleven.
Stat: Pogba is yet to register a goal or assist in his four Premier League games
Attack: Marcus Rashford, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juan Mata
United need to get their attacking balance right and fast. Martial has been poor, Rashford has been good, Zlatan doesn’t do a lot off the ball, but he’s a killer in front of goal. I think a front three of Rashford, Ibra and Mata would give the perfect balance for United. Mata is a creative player and would provide Zlatan with plenty of chances, as would Rashford’s pace on the wing. Rashford simply has to start, he’s a goal machine when given the chance and is one of United’s most in form players at the moment.