Manchester United will travel to the West Midlands for Sunday’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa.
Ahead of the game, there have plenty of fitness concerns with manager Erik ten Hag confirming that Antony, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho may need to be assessed by the medical team.
Furthermore, Bruno Fernandes is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the Premier League campaign. In his absence, Ten Hag will need to find a new candidate for the number 10 role.
Here are three players that could replace Fernandes vs Villa:
Donny van de Beek
The Dutchman is a natural replacement for the Portuguese in the number 10 spot. He started in the position in midweek against Real Sociedad with Fernandes operating from the right wing. However, the 25-year-old did not provide any attacking threat and was substituted shortly before the hour mark.
Despite this, we won’t be surprised if the Netherlands international starts again. In his pre-match press conference, Ten Hag backed his former Ajax star. Van de Beek has looked short in confidence whenever he has played, but Ten Hag believes there is more to come from him in the final third.
Eriksen is well accomplished to playing from an attacking midfield role from his time at Tottenham Hotspur as well as the Danish national team. Since his arrival at Old Trafford, he has been a regular number eight, but could be tasked to play higher up in the absence of Fernandes on Sunday.
The Dane has been a revelation for the Red Devils with his quality distribution and ability to create key chances. He was not at his best against Sociedad in midweek and will be aiming to redeem himself tomorrow. Hopefully, it will be with his maiden goal in the club’s colours.
Over the past month, Fred has occasionally accompanied Casemiro in the centre of the park for United. However, we have seen on a couple of occasions in Europe where Fred has played in the number 10 role. He started from the position in the 1-0 loss to Sociedad earlier in September.
On his day, the Brazilian can be a menace for opposition defences as seen against Tottenham Hotspur, but his lack of consistency remains a concern. One of Van de Beek or Eriksen seem more likely to start behind the striker on Sunday rather than Fred taking up the position.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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