After a dismal display on Sunday, confidence will be at an all time low heading into the second Manchester Derby of the season on Wednesday. The two Manchester clubs clash at Old Trafford again in the 4th round of the EFL Cup, with United looking to make a statement and City looking for their first win in 5. But, how should United start, as that’s where it seems to be going wrong in the big games this season.
Goalkeeper – David De Gea
The Spaniard had an off day at Stamford Bridge, but so did everyone. He’s been our stand out star by far for the last 3 campaigns, and De Gea will more than likely be given the chance on Wednesday ahead of Sergio Romero and Sam Johnstone.
Right Back – Matteo Darmian
Darmian looked bright against Fenerbahce last week, and it is understandable why he has been kept out of the side by Antonio Valencia. However, the Italian may have a good chance on Wednesday especially against a big opponent, it may be time for him to start a breakthrough and challenge Valencia when it comes to the weekend.
Centre Backs – Regan Poole and Daley Blind
Personally, after Smalling’s disastrous performance against Chelsea, I would love to see another right sided centre half given a chance. Eric Bailly looks like he has suffered a serious injury and will miss the game, and I am not a fan of having two left footed centre backs, so Wednesday would be a good chance to see the Welsh teenager perform for the first team. If not Poole, then give Axel Tuanzebe or Timothy Fosu-Mensah a chance in defence. Daley Blind was also unlike his usual self against Chelsea. Blind didn’t recover after he was caught out early against Pedro, but the Dutchman looks like he should be the best choice alongside Bailly, and will put any doubters to rest on Wednesday.
Left Back – Luke Shaw
Shaw was left out against Chelsea completely, surprising as he would have been extremely useful from the bench when Bailly was taken off injured. Shaw has got to be the first choice left back it’s as simple as and the Englishman will continue his route back to full fitness in the Derby.
Central Midfield – Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera
It was clear how much Michael Carrick’s patience and calmness on the ball was missed at Stamford Bridge, he was almost flawless on Thursday and it really is surprising how he hasn’t been able to nail a place in the Premier League side with the likes of Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini seriously not reaching the heights. As for Herrera, he was fantastic against Liverpool and at times on Sunday showed how much he is improving, surely the Spaniard can be a future captain at United and could be the perfect fit beside Carrick on Wednesday.
Right Wing – Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Mkhitaryan surely has to be back on Wednesday. In the earlier Derby this season he was extremely poor but was nowhere near full fitness. The Armenian has been left out of the last 3 match day squads and is expected to return on Wednesday at last.
Attacking Midfield – Juan Mata
Mata did a good job against Fenerbahce and it was surprising that he was left out on Sunday especially after Pogba’s lack of creativity against Liverpool. Dropping Mata for Pogba again backfired as he failed to create a single chance against Chelsea. Hopefully Mata can make a difference on Wednesday as he deserves to be the main No.10 at United.
Left Wing – Anthony Martial
Martial was the last player to score a league goal for us, and has began to show signs of form from last season after returning to fitness. He was introduced too late against Chelsea and should easily be one of the first names on the team sheet. The Frenchman will surely be back in the side and then starting against Burnley on Saturday.
Striker – Wayne Rooney
If fit, this is something that I really want to see. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has squandered chances against Watford, Stoke, Liverpool and Chelsea, all of which would have affected the end result, for me it is time for the Swede to be dropped. The Captain looked great against Fenerbahce and it was unfortunate to see him missing against Chelsea as Herrera looked like the only leader on the pitch.