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How Manchester United could line up vs Leicester

How Manchester United could line up vs Leicester

10 August 2018 Friday 09:31
How Manchester United could line up vs Leicester

Manchester United get the new Premier League campaign underway tonight as they host Leicester - and Jose Mourinho is without six first-team players.

The United boss confirmed in his pre-match press conference he is missing midfield duo Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera as well as defenders Antonio Valencia, Diogo Dalto and Marcos Rojo.

Sergio Romero is also ruled out but David de Gea is available so there is no issue for Mourinho in the goalkeeping department.

All of United's World Cup players have also returned to training this week which means Mourinho can call upon the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Romelu Lukaku if he choses.

However, it could pose something of a risk to start them as they missed pre-season training while they recovered from their World Cup campaigns.

Here's who MEN writers think should start.

Rich Fay

After a disappointing end to pre-season Mourinho will be looking to start the season on a high against a team which highlighted their defensive vulnerabilities last season.

The pace of Leicester needs a versatile centre-back partnership with Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling perhaps the most competent on offer. Luke Shaw should get his chance at left-back while Darmian is the obvious choice on the right.

A debut for Fred in midfield will give some positivity for fans to enjoy, the sight of Scott McTominay might not. However, Andreas Pereira's stock rose remarkably during the summer months and he now owes the Old Trafford crowd a performance to match.

Romelu Lukaku terrorised Harry Maguire during the World Cup and the Belgian will prove a handful again if he starts this game. Amazingly Juan Mata is somehow still best bet on the right wing and should start with Alexis Sanchez up top.

Charlotte Duncker

Mourinho has a decision to make whether to risk a couple of World Cup players or not, and the answer should be yes. United are struggling for bodies in midfield with Matic and Herrera both out injured so Pogba should come straight back in.

He may have missed the pre-season tour but he's a better option to start than McTominay in a midfield three with new signing Fred and Pereira who impressed on the American tour.

At the back the only change to the back four Mourinho wanted to start is that Darmain needs to come in at right-back to replace the injured Valencia.

Up front Lukaku needs to go straight back in with Alexis Sanchez on the left and Mata on the right.

Paul Pogba needs to come back in.

Paul Pogba needs to come back in.


Liam Corless

Matteo Darmian should start due to Antonio Valencia's injury and Ashley Young deserves to retain his left-back berth despite Luke Shaw having much longer to prepare for the new season.

Chris Smalling is underrated and should start alongside Victor Lindelof, whose stock is at an all-time high following an impressive World Cup campaign with Sweden.

In midfield, Mourinho may go for McTominay instead of Pogba but it wouldn't send a good signal to either the player or the fans, who will want to see their world-champion midfielder in action on the opening day.

Fred, Alexis Sanchez, Romelu Lukaku and Andreas Pereira pick themselves, while Juan Mata should start on the right after a number of promising pre-season displays.

Paul Pogba should start over Scott McTominay


Now, pick the team you want to see start.

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