Jose Mourinho didn’t use a No.10 against Bristol City and Manchester United’s attacking potency suffered as a result.
The visitors, with a rusty Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the masthead, looked predictable with Marcus Rashford
and Anthony Martial angling in from out wide, bereft of a sticking point in the middle to draw defenders out of position.
It was, dare I say it, a performance that much closer to some of last season’s away performances rather than the efficient, cut-throat displays seen against Watford and Arsenal in recent weeks.
With that in mind, here is a potential XI for Saturday’s clash with Leicester City featuring Jesse Lingard at No.10.
Claude Puel’s side are boasting with confidence and could, you sense, play their part in a game where both sides look to break with pace and catch the visitors off guard.
This has been the primary route of Man United’s success on the road this season. They have often conceded possession and goals on the road – they only have five clean sheets on the road, with the last coming in early November – and still come away with a result, benefitting from an improved clinical edge in the box and faster transition between defence and attack.
The most important conduit for this process of breaking through the lines and stringing attacks on the opponent is without doubt Jesse Lingard, who scored last weekend and received a rest against Bristol City.
Mourinho will be counting on the Englishman to once again serve as the sticking point of their attacks on Saturday.