Ole Gunnar Solskjaer suggested one or two of his Manchester United squad were carrying knocks and niggles going into tonight’s game against RB Leipzig.
Solskjaer will also have to decide whether to start new signings Donny van de Beek, Edinson Cavani and Alex Telles, with Paul Pogba also pushing to start in the Champions League game.
Our United writers pick their sides to face Leipzig below:
The 4-2-3-1 would have worked better against Chelsea had United injected more impetus into the game, and it’s the right way to go against Leipzig at home. The issue Solskjaer has is that a number of players could use a rest, especially with a big game against Arsenal around the corner.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford all get rests from this line up, with Axel Tuanzebe a very able albeit defensive right-back — though that’s balanced out by Telles on the other side.
It could be the ideal game for Nemanja Matic to anchor the midfield, while Martial and Mason Greenwood are must-picks in attack, given both will be fresh. The same should be said of Van de Beek, who may have to be content with a slightly unfamiliar wide role.
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United are unbeaten since the international break after wins over Newcastle and PSG, and a draw against Chelsea. Next up is a home game against RB Leipzig, with Edinson Cavani in contention to make his European debut for the club.
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If Telles is fit then he has to come back in but it appears he was absent from training. If he is unavailable then Shaw has to continue. Axel Tuanzebe’s speed could be key against the Leipzig attack and unless United are as cautious as the weekend then Maguire and Lindelof could be exposed.
McTominay is probably the main defensive midfielder at present and Van de Beek deserves a proper platform to showcase his class. The front four is still the favoured front four nearly four months from their first game together against Sheffield United. Mason Greenwood should be refreshed and Martial has had a couple of weekends off.
Choose your team to face Leipzig below.
Bruno Fernandes will almost certainly start but United have games against Arsenal, Istanbul Basaksehir and Everton coming up and Solskjaer could do with his talisman being fresh for those games. Resting Fernandes bang in the middle of the October and November international breaks could be beneficial.
The longer Donny van de Beek’s wait for a significant start goes on, the louder the questions over why United signed him will get. Van de Beek has influenced league games against Crystal Palace, Brighton and Newcastle off the bench and impressed in his Carabao Cup outings against Luton and Brighton.
Paul Pogba’s level has risen since his return from France duty and it would make more sense to keep Scott McTominay in midfield alongside him than Fred.