April 22, 2019
Manchester United will be up against Manchester United in their next fixture, which was postponed from March after both teams participation in the Emirates FA Cup at the time. This is not a good time for a Manchester derby. City will be up for it as they can finally start to grasp the Premier League title with a victory, however, a loss could do the same for Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not be happy with his squad after their poor performance against Everton at Goodison Park on Sunday, leaving Merseyside after a 4-0 thrashing where it took 86 minutes for United to register a single shot on target. The team even covered 8km fewer than the home side, which was shocking for these supposed athletes.
There are no suspension issues for Solskjaer ahead of this match but he will have selection problems as it is clear not many of the players in the squad can be trusted to win matches, which seems beyond them at this stage of the season. It is like they do not want to finish inside the top four or play in the UEFA Champions League next season.
United and City have played 177 competitive matches in the history of both clubs, dating back to the first match which was played on the 3 October 1891, a 5-1 victory for Newton Heath over Ardwick. United has since won 73 matches, drawn 52 times and lost 52 times. United has not beaten City in the Premier League at Old Trafford since the 12 April 2015. I want United to beat City but at this stage of the season and the lack of big performances, suggests otherwise.
Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero
Sergio Romero should be picked ahead fo David De Gea for the visit of Manchester City. The Spanish number one does not seem to be at his best right now. Despite an apology on social media, there is something affecting his game. Yes, he made some saves against Everton on Sunday but conceded four goals, it could well have been more. Romero is a competent goalkeeper and worthy of a run of matches in the team, possibly the final four matches of the season.
Defence: Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw
There is not much that can be done with the defence at United right now. It is not good enough for the task in hand, which is keeping a clean sheet and being the difference between winning and losing. Diogo Dalot should play at right-back, it is where his future lies. Luke Shaw should come back in at left-back after his suspension and Victor Lindelof should be the only central defender to keep his place. If Axel Tuanzebe was still at the club, he could be tested at the highest level, however, with options thins on the ground, Marcos Rojo should be given an opportunity at the back again.
Midfield: Andreas Pereira, Scott McTominay
I don’t want to see Nemanja Matic or Paul Pogba in the midfield. Matic will be overrun in the midfield against City and Pogba has not performed in many recent matches. Some will say he scored two penalties against West Ham but that is not really performing, most players can score penalties. Testing Andreas Pereira and Scott McTominay could be beneficial for both players and the club, moving forward. Both will be tested to the best of their abilities. It is the way to see if these players are able to play against the best teams in the league.
Attacking Midfield: Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes, Alexis Sanchez
Tahith Chong has been tested a few times under Solskjaer and should be tested again. Angel Gomes could find himself in a good position to strengthen his chances of succeeding at the club if he’s given the opportunity. Alexis Sanchez could be a better option than Anthony Martial, who has seemed lazy in recent matches and needs to be dropped, indefinitely would be better. He should never have been rewarded with a new contract as he’s not really developed much since he arrived at the club.
Forwards: Marcus Rashford
I would like to see Mason Greenwood lead the line for United, but dropping him in at the deep end against Manchester City might not be ideal, however, I do not think it would be a problem if he was tested for say twenty minutes at the end of the match. Marcus Rashford should lead the line. Romelu Lukaku seems incapable of late, as does Rashford, but he might be the better of the two forwards.
Substitutes: Lee Grant; Phil Jones, Matteo Darmian; Juan Mata, Fred, James Garner; Mason Greenwood
If Solskjaer wants to make the right impression, dropping some of his ‘stars’ will be necessary. Having James Garner and Mason Greenwood on the bench could be a good thing, added to the experience of Juan Mata, Fred, Matteo Darmian, Phil Jones and Lee Grant could be beneficial. If players do not get the message, it is not long until the transfer window opens. Solskjaer has suggested that some of his squad won’t be around when the team is successful.