Ralf Rangnick’s team selection for Manchester United’s trip to Burnley tomorrow will be crucial as his side attempts to bounce back from Friday’s disappointing FA Cup exit at the hands of Middlesbrough.
With no new injury problems so far reported and the likes of Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani having recovered from their exploits in South America, the manager could have a full squad at his disposal, other than Mason Greenwood.
David de Gea will return in goal after Dean Henderson was given a run-out on Friday and it is likely that the in-form Diogo Dalot will continue at right back. Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane will probably also keep their places even if Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have recovered from illness and a swollen ankle, respectively.
Luke Shaw played reasonably well against Middlesbrough so Rangnick has an interesting choice to make at left back between the England man and Telles, who has also been playing well. This one could go either way but we have plumped for the Brazilian in our predicted XI.
Despite Friday’s result, there was plenty of control and creativity coming from the middle of the park with 71% possession and no less than 25 chances created. The same midfield three of Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes could therefore be selected, with Fred and Nemanja Matic other options.
McTominay is holding his own as a sole defensive midfielder and is now also dropping back to create an extra defender when defending counter-attacks.
Pogba impressed in his return after a long lay-off and in addition to his usual creative impact, put in an excellent defensive shift. This should have convinced the boss to keep him in the side.
Fernandes was wasteful in front of goal on Friday but the fact that he got into such excellent positions so frequently when coming from deeper means that he is adapting well to the new system.
The forward line could well see a change this time out, though, after woeful finishing in the previous game. United had 30 shots on Friday, but only managed one goal.
Edinson Cavani could be brought back in, but this leaves the issue of who makes way. Of the Rashford – Ronaldo – Sancho front three against Boro, Sancho was the best performer and should keep his place. Ronaldo could be retained as a wide forward or could be rested, with Rashford, Anthony Elanga or even Jesse Lingard taking one of the wing positions.
Whilst it doesn’t offer the greatest balance, we think Ronaldo will be played to the left of Cavani, with Sancho occupying the right wing slot.
With all that in mind, here is our predicted XI for tomorrow’s game: