Following on from another super fightback away to Spurs last Sunday. United move on to what should be a more straightforward game at home to spanish opposition Granada in the second leg of the Europa League Quarter-Final. Having scored two away goals through Rashford and Fernandes in the first leg, this should be a fairly comfortable game for United. A professional performance sees them through to the next round.
The away leg wasn’t great viewing mind, another sluggish start from United and too many passes going astray. However, it wasn’t helped by one of the worst refereeing performances I’ve seen in a game in a long time! Every little touch on any Granada player was deemed a foul and there was a flurry of cards issued to United players, resulting in Harry Maguire, Scott Mctominay and Luke Shaw missing the return leg due to suspension.
Regardless of those three players missing this Thursday. United should have enough depth to see the game out. I think the biggest decision for Solskjaer is who he picks to replace Maguire at centre half. Eric Bailly is due to return back from the Ivory Coast following his bout of Covid and he would be the natural choice to come in alongside Lindelof. The only thing I’m thinking is, with Bailly forever being injured, and with him missing the last few games due to Covid, will Solskjaer give Axel Tuanzebe a game instead? Or maybe he plays Tuanzebe and Bailly and rests Lindelof due to the back problem he has been carrying all season? Will be interesting to see what Solskjaer goes with.
Naturally Alex Telles will come in at left back to replace Luke Shaw, I think Nemanja Matic will be the one to play in midfield instead of Mctominay. Personally I would like to see Donny Van De Beek get a game and give Fernandes a rest, Rashford is another who should be benched due to him not being fully fit with his ankle and shoulder bothering him the majority of the season.
It has been a while since we have seen our little Spanish wizard Juan Mata grace the starting eleven and I believe he could be in line to come in to the right hand side of the front three, a position he has predominantly played throughout his United career, even though he was one of the best number 10’s in the country at Chelsea, but nevermind! With Cavani playing the full match at Spurs, I think Solskjaer will go with Mason Greenwood in the number 9 role through the middle, a position I believe Greenwood could really go on to excel in. with Daniel James completing the front three playing on the left. James missed the game with Spurs due to injury but is looking likely to feature come Thursday. If James does fail to make it however, then I would like Solskjaer to go with Amad just to give him some minutes and some more match experience in a game that should realistically be over.
My starting XI prediction is below, see what you think and let me know if you think I am correct or way off the mark!
Courtesy of chosen11.com
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