Tue. Mar 2nd, 2021

Man Utd

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Manchester United have the ideal fixture to select Amad

3 min read

Van de Beek’s United career to take off?

The silver lining for Donny van de Beek has always been he could thrive at Manchester United once Paul Pogba has left. It might be sooner, as Pogba is sidelined for a ‘few weeks’ and news of his lay-off could kick-start Van de Beek’s United career.

The caveat is Pogba’s absence has no bearing on the trusted trio of Scott McTominay, Fred and Bruno Fernandes that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has often settled on. Van de Beek’s last start was in the FA Cup win over Liverpool and he must hope to play against West Ham, the last team he lined up against in the Premier League over two months ago.

Van de Beek was substituted at half-time with United 1-0 down. They won 3-1.

Henderson to convince Solskjaer?

The main Dean Henderson-related question this week is not whether he starts against West Ham but if he starts at West Brom on Sunday. Henderson has been picked in all six domestic cup games this term but has been restricted to two Premier League starts.

David de Gea has not improved or impressed enough to retain his number one status and his performance against Everton was costly. United will only know if Henderson is De Gea’s long-term heir if he is given a regular run in the league, not sporadic outings in the cups.


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Who is rested?

The upside of United’s Tuesday night fixture is they do not play for another five days, affording their most taxed players midweek breathers.

United cannot be picky in prioritising competitions when there have been two general elections since they last caressed silverware in 2017. They have enviable squad depth but Solskjaer patently distrusts certain squad players and West Ham, sixth in the Premier League, unsettled United at the London Stadium in December.

Martial back in?

Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford stayed on for the duration against Everton and Anthony Martial had a morale-raising second-half against Southampton, plundering two goals.

Barring his innovative assist for Cavani, Rashford was erratic against Everton and a change-up might be in order on United’s left-hand side. Solskjaer is mindful of managing Cavani’s workload in a week he turns 34, though, and could save him for The Hawthorns.

Amad to appear?

Two games, three goals and three assists are compelling numbers from Amad, even at Under-23 level, and he still played within himself against Blackburn on Friday night.

The 18-year-old’s match fitness has increased with two 90-minute outings with the second string and, in a cup tie where five substitutions are permitted and there could be extra-time, he is a more appealing option off the bench than Daniel James.

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