Manchester United manager Eric ten Hag has a number of fitness and illness issues hanging over his forward players as he prepares for Sunday’s trip to Villa Park to face Aston Villa.
Anthony Martial is back in training but it is unlikely that he will be deemed fit enough to start the game. He could feature from the bench, with Ronaldo keeping his place up front.
Jadon Sancho has had the flu and may recover in time, while United are still assessing Antony’s knock that has kept him out of the last two games.
Marcus Rashford was also not started against Real Sociedad due to a knock that is being managed.
Meanwhile, Bruno Fernandes is definitely out serving a suspension after picking up five yellow cards.
Donny van de Beek played in the number 10 position against Sociedad but was underwhelming and seems unlikely to start again.
Rashford also appeared to be playing in the hole when brought on in the second half, but that did not look like a successful deployment either.
Other than Van de Beek and possibly Christian Eriksen, there are no obvious alternatives at number 10. And if Eriksen is deployed there, there are no natural alternatives as a deep playmaker unless someone like Zidane Iqbal is given a chance.
Ten Hag could therefore switch to a 4-3-3 for the Villa game, with Rashford, Ronaldo and one of Sancho, Antony, Anthony Elanga or Alejandro Garnacho in attack and a midfield three of Casemiro, Christian Eriksen and Fred behind them.
Garnacho has impressed in his Europa League starts but Ten Hag may be concerned that the Premier League is a different kettle of fish. He therefore may opt for whichever of Antony or Sancho are available (more likely Sancho), or even the unimpressive Elanga again.
In defence, it would appear that the substitution of Victor Lindelof against Sociedad was tactical, so we expect him to keep his place alongside Lisandro Martinez at centre back. Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw will almost certainly continue at full back, with David de Gea in goal.
With all that in mind, here is our predicted XI for the game:
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