Man Utd: Was Solskjaer right to start Pogba in derby?
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to make several changes to his starting XI when his side visit Sheffield United tonight. Both teams will be desperate for all three points for their own reasons when the two teams clash at Bramall Lane.
United cannot afford to lose any further ground on the top four and the pressure is now on Solskjaer to deliver, following the club’s Champions League exit at the hands of RB Leipzig.
Meanwhile, Sheffield United are yet to pick up a win from their opening 12 matches and have just one point to their name so far this term.
The Blades are currently on course to set the lowest ever Premier League points tally, breaking Derby’s miserable total of 11 from the 2007/08 season.
Given that the hosts are short of confidence, anything other than a win on the road for the Red Devils would be considered a major disappointment by supporters.
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Solskjaer has revealed that striker Edinson Cavani is a doubt for the trip to Yorkshire.
“Edinson has done well in his rehab, but we’re still going to make a decision on whether we should risk him,” Solskjaer said yesterday.
“Because it is a risk, it’s a little bit too early. I doubt he’ll be available for me to pick him tomorrow.”
Forgotten defenders Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones will also be missing.
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“Marcos has just felt a niggle in his calf again,” Solskjaer added.
“He’s worked really hard to come back, he played a game with the Reserves and got a knock there. Worked really hard again, then felt something.
“He’s hopefully back in January, Marcos. Phil [Jones] should be ready by January and Sergio [Romero] has been training hard as well.”
Solskjaer could be set to shake things up between the sticks and bring back Dean Henderson against his former club.
The 23-year-old has not put a foot wrong since returning to the club from Sheffield United earlier this summer but still remains behind David de Gea in the pecking order.
Luke Shaw is expected to keep his place at left-back ahead of Alex Telles, with Solskjaer set to field his favourite back four which also includes Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.
In midfield, Paul Pogba should keep his place but may move back into a deeper midfield role alongside Scott McTominay.
Mason Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing a leaky Blades defence.
The trio are set to play behind the returning Anthony Martial, who was on the bench for the Manchester derby draw with City.
Expected Manchester United XI vs Sheffield United (4-3-3): Henderson; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.
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