A predicted XI for Manchester United’s League Cup quarter final against Charlton is difficult because we do not know how Erik ten Hag will prioritise the game in relation to Saturday’s Premier League derby against Manchester City.
A cup win would be fantastic for morale at United but a good performance in the derby is arguably more important, especially after the Reds’ ‘noisy neighbours’ put six past them in October.
We think Ten Hag will opt for a fairly strong side against the Addicks, but rest a few players in key positions.
Handing new loanee goalkeeper Jack Butland a start might be considered too risky so we’ve gone with David de Gea in goal, although even that feels a little risky after his gaffe against Everton.
Ten Hag could be easing Diogo Dalot back in for the derby so it’s likely that Aaron Wan-Bissaka could deputise again at right back.
Luke Shaw has seen a lot of football and could also be rested against the lower league opposition, with Tyrell Malacia an able deputy on the left side of defence.
In midfield, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen could also do with a rest but would Ten Hag trust McFred – Scott McTominay and Fred – in a big quarter final? The boss could hedge his bets, resting, say Eriksen for Fred, who has done well when coming on as substitute in the last few games, but keeping Casemiro in the starting lineup and hoping to take him off early in the second half if all is going well.
Ten Hag has also talked about the need to nurse Anthony Martial back to full fitness and so he might be sidelined, with Marcus Rashford’s adrenaline being enough to keep him going. He could therefore replace the Frenchman up top.
Alejandro Garnacho would come back in on the left, with Antony on the right.
With all that in mind, here is our predicted XI for the game:
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