Manchester United are back in action this weekend in the Premier League when they play visitors to Brentford on Saturday and Erik ten Hag is obviously going to make changes to his previous starting lineup.
Man United got off to a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford last weekend and United’s performance in that defeat was nothing to write home about, well, at least the first half performance.
United showed a much-improved performance in the second half following tactical changes from Erik ten Hag that saw Cristiano Ronaldo come into the game shortly after the interval for Fred and Christian Eriksen drop deep alongside Scott McTominay.
Speaking about United’s horrendous display, both Fred and McTominay were disappointing. The latter escaped a red card after a failed attempt to win possession back for The Reds after his poor control thwarted what could have led to a decent chance for Manchester United. Watch here.
Fans were not pleased with both midfielders against The Seagulls and as a result, they are expecting Ten Hag to make a change in the midfield against Brentford.
Rio Ferdinand had earlier backed Erik ten Hag to start Bruno Fernandes, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen in the midfield, Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho in the attack and brought Raphael Varane back into the starting lineup to pair alongside Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot at the back, with David de Gea maintaining his starting spot, although he was criticised for Brighton’s second goal.
Erik ten Hag may agree with the former England international but Martinez starting at DM when his first half performance against Brighton wasn’t great could be a huge gamble. As a result, I am expecting the Dutchman to drop either Fred or McTominay to the bench for Eriksen.
At the back, Dalot keeps starting ahead of Aaron Wan-Bissaka because he’s a threat going forward but against Atletico Madrid and Brighton, he was relatively quiet. I can’t recall any dangerous cross coming from him in both fixtures but he did well in Ten Hag’s opening friendlies but somehow, he gets the nod ahead of Wan-Bissaka and this weekend could still be the case.
I have no issues with Ferdinand’s attacking trio, given that Anthony Martial missed last weekend’s game with a minor hamstring injury, as described by MEN.
His centre-back picks go down well with mine, although I wouldn’t be surprised if Victor Lindelof started ahead of Varane and alongside Maguire, who was brilliant vs Brighton. I would also love to see Tyrell Malacia at left-back. The Dutchman has always played according to instructions whenever on the pitch and his resounding display against Atletico gives me the confidence that he wouldn’t fall short whenever Ten Hag decided to call upon him.
David de Gea to remain in goal. He’s received widespread criticism for his inability to make high claims during set-pieces and build from the back, although he’s improving on the latter.
Manchester United predicted starting lineup vs Brentford:
GK: David de Gea
DF: Dalot, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia
MF: McTominay, Eriksen, Fernandes
FW: Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford
Alejandro Garnacho was brilliant against Rayo Vallecano on United’s last game of their recently concluded pre-season. I would love to see him come off the bench and make a statement. He looks set to start a league game but Ten Hag knows when the Argentine would finally get his chances under him.
It wouldn’t be bad to see Donny van de Beek in the second half. Anthony Elanga is the only attacking forward Erik ten Hag would run to on the bench, if Martial failed to be fit for the clash, and that’s outrageous, given the size of Manchester United.
Martial wasn’t seen in any of the photos Man United shared on social media from Wednesday’s training sessions. He has Thursday and Friday to be fit for the trip.