April 19, 2021

Man Utd

News

Cavani could offer Man United a solution for recent problem vs Crystal Palace

3 min read

Defensive changes?

Manchester United have spent £148.1million on defenders during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign yet have shipped more goals than West Ham and Aston Villa this season.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s showstopping performance against Southampton was an anomaly and he is regressing again, Solskjaer cannot bring himself to drop Harry Maguire or Victor Lindelof and continues to stay loyal to David de Gea. Luke Shaw, whose resurgence started under Jose Mourinho back in the summer of 2018, has at least been the Premier League’s outstanding left-back this season and has seen off specialist competition from Alex Telles.

If there is to be a change at full-back, it is likely to be at left-back, which seems counter-productive, given Wan-Bissaka’s uninspiring form. Eric Bailly and Dean Henderson might expect midweek starts.

Van de Beek still not trusted?

Solskjaer might as well have told one of the journalists at Stamford Bridge to warm up, for they had as much of a chance of getting on as Donny van de Beek, a goalscoring debutant against Crystal Palace in September.

“He’s not there yet completely, where we want him to be or he wants to be, so he’s still a doubt for tomorrow,” Solskjaer said of Van de Beek on Tuesday. Van de Beek has become such an afterthought Solskjaer seemed to forget he was an unused substitute at Chelsea.

For a manager who carped about the restrictions on substitutions, Solskjaer has a habit of leaving some unused and Anthony Martial was the only introduction at Chelsea. United could have planted a tree in the Chelsea third and would have seen more movement than what Martial offered.

Scott McTominay was lagging well before full-time and Solskjaer did him no favours by keeping the Scot on for the full 90. The ring-rust contributed to McTominay botching United’s late breakaway and he is more needed at The Etihad than Selhurst Park.

Extend Selhurst Park record?

It has been so long since United lost at Selhurst Park Wimbledon were the hosts. The FA Cup fourth-round replay remains United’s last loss at Palace’s ground and they have not lost there in the league since a 3-0 whipping in 1991.

United are unbeaten in their last 13 in SE25 and have not lost any of their last 27 domestic away fixtures, although Palace triumphed in their last two games at Old Trafford.

Cavani back in?

United have fired blanks in two of their last four games without Edinson Cavani and he has been back in training. Cavani should have more goals than the seven he has tallied but his expertise and energy are upgrades on Mason Greenwood and Martial.


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Change on the flanks?

A growing issue for United is on the flanks, where Solskjaer has suddenly settled on Marcus Rashford and Daniel James. The pair had performed effectively prior to the stalemate at Chelsea, where the pitch can feel as tight as a phone box.

United are short up front, particularly when there is a significant injury to contend with. Playing Anthony Martial anywhere is doing more harm than good at the moment and Amad is callow. Mason Greenwood was isolated at Chelsea and might be better off cutting in from the right at Palace.

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