Manchester United’s Premier League season kicks off Sunday vs AFC Bournemouth. The team has new looks in most positions, even manager, bringing in Jose Mourinho. With the signings of Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Eric Bailly, the side looks to be more formidable than in year’s past. Let’s take a look at the predicted lineup for this weekend’s game.
Goalkeeper and Defence
Goalkeeper: David de Gea: It’s pretty simple that the star man of the past two seasons will get the nod in net for the Red Devils. The Spaniard remains one of the best keepers in the league and the world and will always be the man in between the sticks barring injury.
Left Back: Luke Shaw: The Englishman is set to make his return to competitive football after a horrendous leg break. He’s been solid in the preseason and looks to make a statement that he is still a top left back in the world.
Center Backs: Daley Blind and Eric Bailly: Blind is going to get the nod, just for the fact that Chris Smalling is suspended for getting sent off in the FA Cup Final victory over Crystal Palace last year. Bailly was big-name signing in defense and has performed like it so far, earning Man of the Match accolades in the FA Community Shield win over Leicester City.
Right Back: Antonio Valencia: The Ecuadorian was the one who came up with the perfectly struck cross in the final which found Ibrahimovic’s head to win them the match. Mourinho loves his attacking right backs, and Valencia perfectly fits that mold.
Midfield and attack
Central Defensive Midfielders: Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini: With Paul Pogba not match fit and suspended for the first game, he was never going to feature in the game. Mourinho does not like rotation week after week, so he will go with the Englishman and the Belgium in the center of the park.
Left Attacking Midfielder: Anthony Martial: The Frenchman was often deployed in this left midfield role under Louis van Gaal and thrived under it last season. He scored double digit goals last season and looks ready to play a huge role in Mourinho’s side.
Central Attacking Midfielder: Wayne Rooney: Mourinho said Rooney would not play deep in the midfield like he did for England or for van Gaal last season. With the captain lacking pace and Ibrahimovic up top, the number 10 role is where he’ll be deployed.
Right Attacking Midfielder: Jesse Lingard: After a fantastic Community Shield showing, barring the dance moves, Jesse Lingard is set to start in the right midfield over Henrikh Mkhitaryan. As mentioned earlier, Mourinho does not like rotation so the young Englishman and United academy product will get the nod.
Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic: Without a doubt, the star Swedish striker is going to be the starter for this one. In two United games, he’s scored two goals, one in a friendly and the winner against Leicester City last weekend. It will be his first Premier League game and he will be looking to impress from the get-go.