MANCHESTER UNITED travel south to face AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon hoping to keep up their remarkable momentum.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side haven’t looked back since signing Bruno Fernandes in January and are currently unbeaten in 15 matches in all competitions – and could climb into the top four with another win.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will make big decisions over whether or not to rest his stars[/caption]
Chelsea’s dismal 3-2 defeat at West Ham in midweek leaves them just two points above the Red Devils, who could profit with a win at the Vitality Stadium against a Cherries side that have lost all three games since the restart and sit precariously in 19th.
In fact, with Chelsea and other top-four rivals Wolves not playing until the evening, United could pile the pressure on by leapfrogging the Blues into fourth, at least for a few hours.
Solskjaer has hinted at possible rotation in the build-up to the match.
He said: “We’ve got many games coming up and we’ll keep chopping and changing and players are getting better and better – the ones who haven’t played.
“Paul [Pogba], Marcus [Rashford] they’re getting sharper, Mason [Greenwood] is improving all the time and, of course, we’ve got players that didn’t start that have had a fantastic season.”
Despite this public backing of his squad, Solskjaer appears to have struck upon a winning formula in the league – having named the same side against Brighton and Sheffield United.
And you would imagine he will want to stick to this formula as much as possible – starting with David de Gea between the sticks.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw are likely to be the full-backs, although don’t be surprised if the versatile and talented Brandon Williams fills in on either side – perhaps from the bench.
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Eric Bailly started in the FA Cup against Norwich, but Victor Lindelof appears to be Solskjaer’s preferred partner for Harry Maguire.
Nemanja Matic appears to have found a new lease of life of late, but as one of the team’s elder statesmen at 31, the Serb could be rested – with Scott McTominay coming in.
Paul Pogba has been eased back to action, but the box office midfielder is surely indispensable now and is likely to start as many games as possible.
Dan James had been a regular starter prior to the lockdown, but his minutes appear to have dwindled, with his manager preferring to use Mason Greenwood on the right flank.
Manchester United’s star midfield duo give the team endless creativity[/caption]
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While Solskjaer has claimed that players can be rotated, he would likely admit in private that Bruno Fernandes is the key to his side’s success, and having been withdrawn with half an hour to go at the Amex, is likely to be just fine.
Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial will make up United’s deadly attack.
Solskjaer may be talking about “chopping and changing”, but with things so tight in the top four tussle with six games remaining – he probably won’t be taking any major gambles just yet.