Manchester United vs Derby County: Potential XI with Anthony Martial up front

by Leo Nieboer

Jose Mourinho was without Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the clash with Everton and had to change his attacking approach as a result.

Without a target man to aim for, he had to construct a side capable of controlling the centre of the pitch and interchanging positions in attack, with some players dropping back to pick up the ball and others looking to probe spaces in behind.

The end result was a fluid, less predictable attacking display crowned by a dominant performance from Paul Pogba and superb goals from Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.

With that in mind, here is a potential XI for Man United’s FA Cup clash with Derby County on Friday night.

Martial’s presence at the masthead of attack brought better movement and seemed to allow others a chance to pick up the ball in promising areas, with the Frenchman tending to drop back and receive the ball before driving forward with teammates around him.

The 22-year-old has been largely ignored as an option at No.9 since his arrival at Old Trafford but he has the attributes – an eye for goal, control on the ball, mazy movement, devastating speed – necessary to provide competition for Lukaku this season.

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