West Ham United will smell blood as they take on a bedraggled Manchester United team at the Olympic Stadium on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s men have had a nightmare week: a miserable 1-1 draw with Wolves, Paul Pogba being stripped of the vice-captaincy, losing at home to Derby County, and then *that* training ground dispute on Wednesday.
The last thing Man United need now is another crushing defeat against a lesser team to further compound the pressure on Mourinho.
With that in mind, here are three players who need to start.
Against Derby the 22-year-old was the only player to constantly bring a sense of persistent energy and zip to the occasion, running hard and smart down the left-hand side. He looked electric, like the Martial we know and love.
He was likewise rampant in the game against Young Boys, scoring his first goal since January. Mourinho will surely see him as a shoe in.
The Portuguese could not have started his Man United career much better: his showing against Young Boys was one of the most complete debuts from a youngster in a red shirt for some time, and his cross for Marouane Fellaini‘s equaliser against Derby was exactly what United have lacked with Antonio Valencia out wide.
Supporters will be pining for Dalot to get his first opportunity in the Premier League this weekend.
Liking Smalling as a player is not exactly fashionable but, as things currently are, he is probably the club’s most in-form central defender, producing solid displays against Burnley, Watford and Young Boys with Victor Lindelof without his side.
That United’s back-line looked disjoined and frail in his absence against Derby was a testament to how Smalling, although not always perfect, has an emboldening effect on this team.