Manchester United’s quest for Champions League football resumes on Friday as they travel to Tottenham Hotspur. Prior to football's postponement in March, United’s season was enjoying a bit of a resurgence with Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men having gone 11 games unbeaten.
United currently sit fifth, just three points off of Chelsea who currently occupy what could be the final Champions League spot (Manchester City’s appeal against their European ban pending). The trip sees them go head to head with former boss José Mourinho, who himself still harbours faint hopes of guiding his team to a place in Europe’s premier competition.
Solskjær can boast a significantly stronger starting XI following the three-month hiatus, with United welcoming back both Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford from injury. Phil Jones is the only doubt ahead of the clash having failed to appear in either of United’s two friendlies in training so far. Here’s how the Red Devils should lineup for Friday’s game.
Goalkeepers & Defenders
David de Gea (GK) – With 29 starts from a possible 29 Premier League fixtures this campaign, expect the Spain international to get the nod. United’s goalkeeper has endured another turbulent season and will want to end strongly.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka (RWB) – While his talent was never in doubt, eyebrows were raised at the fee United shelled out last summer for the former Crystal Palace man. However, he’s proving to be good business, cementing his place on the Man Utd right.
Victor Lindelöf (CB) – The jury was out for some time on the Sweden international, but he’s developing into a top defender and offering the stability in defence that United have sorely lacked over recent years.
Harry Maguire (CB) – Another English defender who arrived for an over-inflated fee but is settling in well at Old Trafford. Maguire has been instrumental in shoring up the United backline, with only three sides shipping less than the Red Devils in the Premier League this season. An ever-present in the starting XI, expect Maguire to captain side.
Luke Shaw (CB) – Many expected Shaw’s days at Old Trafford to be numbered under former boss Mourinho, but he’s enjoyed an astonishing turnaround. Solskjær opted to play Shaw at centre back in his side’s impressive 2-0 win over rivals Manchester City prior to the break, and he could do the same here.
Brandon Williams (LWB) – Having spent last season on the fringe of the first team, Williams has enjoyed a solid breakthrough campaign. His ability to continually make marauding runs down the United left offers Solskjær invaluable options when it comes to formation.
Scott McTominay (DM) – Much has been made of which three will get the nod in midfield. McTominay has been arguably United’s best player this season when fit and should be given a place in the starting XI.
Paul Pogba (CM) – The return. It was beginning to look like it might never happen, but Pogba is back in contention. Knock the midfielder all you like for his off-field antics, but the Frenchman is one of if not United’s best player, and with Champions League football on the line United need their best players.
Bruno Fernandes (CM) – The Red Devils probably wouldn’t be in contention for the top four if this man hadn’t arrived in January. His stellar form since his big-money move has rejuvenated United’s campaign and he’ll no doubt be pivotal in the end of season run in.
Marcus Rashford (ST) – As well as saving the country during lockdown, Rashford was busy preparing himself for his eagerly anticipated return. Having been sidelined since January with a back problem, the England man is fit again and fully expected to make his Premier League return.
Anthony Martial (ST) – 11 goals in 23 league games reflects a healthy return for Martial this season, yet still the United faithful remain slightly underwhelmed. There’s certainly more to come from the Frenchman and against a shaky Spurs defence Martial could prove to be the difference between the two sides.
Source : 90min