Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Manchester United: Predicted XI for Leeds

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Manchester United head into the first match of this week’s Leeds United double-header looking to secure a 14th consecutive win on home soil, with the club continuing their impressive resurgence under Erik ten Hag.

That lengthy winning run at Old Trafford was maintained as a result of the hard-fought triumph over Crystal Palace at the weekend, with the Red Devils fending off a late fightback from Patrick Vieira’s side – following Casemiro’s rather needless dismissal – to clinch a vital 2-1 victory.

The subsequent loss of the influential Brazilian to a three-game suspension has left the former Ajax boss with something of a selection headache, with the Dutchman also facing a mounting injury list with Anthony Martial, Scott McTominay and Antony all set to be absent this evening – alongside Christian Eriksen.

With that in mind, here’s how Football FanCast predicts that United will line up against their managerless rivals this evening…

As mentioned above, the growing list of absentees could ensure that Ten Hag is forced into a handful of changes from the side that won at the weekend, hence our prediction that the 53-year-old will make three alterations for tonight’s intriguing clash.

Despite the recent return of Diogo Dalot from injury, the expectation would be that the defensive unit will remain the same for the visit of the Yorkshire side, with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez set to be the leading figures in the backline once again.

Should Mainoo start this evening?

The most notable tweaks could lie in midfield, with the absence of McTominay, Eriksen and Casemiro set to see January arrival, Marcel Sabitzer make his full Premier League debut, with the 28-year-old Austrian having featured off the bench last time out.

Completing that midfield trio could be another figure awaiting his top-flight bow in the form of Kobbie Mainoo, with the teenage sensation having already featured twice in domestic cup competitions this season.

As for the forward line, the absence of Antony could see Bruno Fernandes deployed on the right flank, with the Portuguese genius having regularly been used in that role so far this season under Ten Hag.

A further alteration could see “pressing monster” Wout Weghorst – as described by 90min’s Scott Saunders – drop to the bench having been hooked on the hour mark against Palace, with man of the moment Marcus Rashford in line to be deployed through the middle.

The final attacking berth in attack alongside the Englishman should well be taken up by 18-year-old starlet, Alejandro Garnacho, with the Argentine gem having been heavily involved in Rashford’s winner at the weekend after producing a surging, driving run across the box.



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