Tuesday , May 11 2021

Manchester United could do something they have not done since sacking Jose Mourinho – Samuel Luckhurst

Clearly and obviously back five back

Dean Henderson is expected to return and Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are sure to be back in the XI. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s clear and obvious back four with the signings of Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka in 2019 has been expanded to a five, with Henderson now the number one.

Burnley double?

It is a peculiarity of the Premier League era that United have never done the double over Burnley. Tommy Docherty was the manager the last time United defeated Burnley at home and away in the top flight in 1975-76 and Burnley have not just been unbeaten in the last four at Old Trafford but have gone up 2-0 on their last three visits.

United captured the victory at Turf Moor in the New Year and are a win shy of five straight league games for the first time since January 2019, created by the dismissal of Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer’s overseer.

Midfield dilemma

If Pogba plays from the left, then logic would dictate that the midfield as if consists of two of Fred, Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay. That would be extreme for visiting a side with one win in their last eight games, but the aforementioned trio is for Donny van de Beek in the midfield pick order.

Van de Beek was enterprising in the second half against Granada, albeit from a broad role, and Solskjaer rarely started him from deep. If he is going to force his way to the United XI as normal, then it has to be further back.

Three in a row for Cavani?

Edinson Cavani has only started three consecutive games this season and a repeat seemed unlikely in his fitness career in February and March.

Two goals in as many games makes his selection a no-brainer against Burnley, who have one of the league’s underestimated defensive blocks with Ben Mee and James Tarkowski protecting Nick Pope between the sticks. Cavani was up for the fight against her at Turf Moor in January.

Pogba’s positioning

Solskjaer kept Paul Pogba left against Granada and his last two appearances would suggest that it is not advisable to move him. Pogba is currently United’s best left – back option and the timing is ideal, with Anthony Martial on the sidelines and Marcus Rashford hurt.

United have a free midweek for the first time all week, giving Rashford extra time to rest his foot for a first Premier League visit to Elland Road since 2003.

Continuing with Pogba, Solskjaer offers an excuse to keep Rashford wrapped in cotton.

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