Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag must pair Sofyan Amrabat with Kobbie Mainoo in midfield when the Red Devils host Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday.
The Red Devils have had a stop-start season and they suffered their 11th defeat of the campaign yesterday. Bournemouth convincingly beat them by a 3-0 scoreline at Old Trafford.
United’s performance was the complete opposite of the 2-1 win over Chelsea in midweek and they were exposed in midfield with Amrabat often being isolated against the Cherries.
Scott McTominay had a wonderful game versus the Blues where he made several advancing runs into the box. He scored two vital goals and should have netted a hat-trick too.
However, he had no such success against Andoni Iraola’s side. With him and Bruno Fernandes higher up the field, Amrabat did not have the cover to deal with the Cherries threat.
It was a similar situation with Casemiro earlier in the campaign and Ten Hag must address the issue ahead of the must-win Champions League game against Bayern at Old Trafford.
The German champions are unbeaten in 39 straight group stage games in the competition, but United will need to end that streak to have any chance of making the round of 16.
They also require Copenhagen and Galatasaray to share the spoils in the other group game, but must concentrate on their challenge at hand. In our view, McTominay could be dropped.
McTominay has flourished from a central attacking midfield role for club and country this season, but his forward runs often leave his team exposed with the lack of defensive cover.
Bournemouth took full advantage yesterday and Andoni was quick to point the same in his post-match interviews. Against Bayern, United can ill-afford to go through the same pattern.
Thomas Tuchel’s side were on the wrong side of a thumping 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt yesterday. After such a result, they will be determined to get the better of the Red Devils.
In our view, Kobbie Mainoo, who was praised for a ‘brilliant‘ full Premier League debut by Gary Neville last month, should be drafted into the line-up alongside Amrabat in defensive midfield.
The youngster has shown plenty of maturity at such a young age. Ten Hag has been cautiously handling his workload, and he was an unused substitute in the defeat to the Cherries.
Mainoo’s work rate and knack for making recoveries makes him a better fit alongside Amrabat. Being a defensive midfielder, he also has better concentration than McTominay.
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