Home » Predicted XI against Tottenham Hotspur: formation change expected

Predicted XI against Tottenham Hotspur: formation change expected

by Red Billy

Paul Pogba will definitely not be available for Manchester United’s trip to London to face Tottenham Hotspur tomorrow, leaving manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a difficult decision to make in regard to the midfield.

Better news for the beleaguered boss is that Raphael Varane is back in training and is expected to take his place in the heart of the United defence that has leaked 11 goals in the three games for which he was absent.

Yesterday we looked at what kind of side Solskjaer might put out if he were to really roll the dice and try something completely different after the recent turmoil.

However, as stated in that article, we think it is more in character for him to stick largely to his tried and trusted lieutenants, but with some tweaks.

Pogba’s absence and the disconnect between defence and attack will surely cause the manager to change the formation and given the personnel available and opposition, a 4-4-2 diamond looks like the most likely option.

In defence, Solskjaer may feel that the re-introduction of Varane will be enough to steady the ship and he will probably therefore stick by Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka despite their abject form.

It is likely that the diamond midfield will be a fairly conservative one. Bruno Fernandes will be the attacking tip of the diamond, with Nemanja Matic the defensive tip.

It is possible that Donny van de Beek might take Pogba’s place, with either Fred or Scott McTominay making up the quartet, although the boss might stubbornly plod on with the ‘McFred’ combo, thinking that bolstering them with Matic behind will be sufficient to resolve the obvious issues.

We hope this is not the case as creativity and width would be in short supply with this option.

Up front, it seems most likely that Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford will get the nod. Solskjaer has tremendous faith in Rashford and is perhaps a little afraid to rest Ronaldo.

This will be hard on the likes of Mason Greenwood, who has been in exceptional form, and Edinson Cavani, Jadon Sancho, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial, who will all have to hope they can make an impression from the bench.

With all that in mind, here is our predicted XI for the 5.30pm kick off tomorrow:

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