Manchester United will be hoping to gain the upper hand on RSC Anderlecht when they travel to face the Belgian outfit in the away leg of a Europa League quarter-final tie tonight.
Changes at full-back?
José Mourinho will probably allow Sergio Romero to resume his role as goalkeeper. The Argentina international has not only been incredibly reliable when called upon this term – most of those occasions coming in this competition – but David de Gea’s absence through a minor problem at the weekend could yet keep him out for longer.
Meanwhile, Antonio Valencia is expected to return at right-back, and that would make it a surprise to have Luke Shaw taking up the other full-back role on the left. It would be little surprise to see Matteo Darmian to switch to that flank, the Italian seemingly having the trust of his manager as a more defensively solid option.
Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo will keep their places in central defence, especially with Daley Blind having played so sporadically at centre-back in recent times. Not only that, but any further changes in the position would probably require Mourinho to hand Axel Tuanzebe a first start.
Irreplaceable Pogba and Ibrahimovic
Ahead of that back five, Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba will start in midfield barring any problems for the well-trusted central pairing.
Then comes the question of the formation, yet again. Might Mourinho opt for Michael Carrick or Marouane Fellaini as a third man in the middle, or maybe even stick with the 4-2-3-1 and deploy a bold, attacking style with Henrikh Mkhitaryan at the number ten.
Knowing the Portuguese boss, he’ll want to come away with an away goal and without losing, so he’ll likely hand Fellaini that chance this evening.
We can be pretty certain that Zlatan Ibrahimović will play as the main striker, but who will play outside him on the wings? Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford would be Mourinho-type choices for this fixture, given both are hard-workers and provide more of a threat than most in the United squad on the counter attack – a quality ideally suited to this kind of match.
Predicted XI: Romero; Valencia, Bailly, Rojo, Darmian; Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba; Lingard, Ibrahimovic, Rashford.