Manchester United face Brentford on the road in today’s late Premier League kick-off.
The Red Devils made a poor start to the Premier League campaign last weekend, suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford.
Manager Erik ten Hag will want a strong response from his team in west London today. Another setback could see the club already playing catch up to the top four.
With a difficult meeting against Liverpool at home on August 22, the Red Devils need to beat the Bees to go into the encounter with some form of momentum.
David de Gea had a mixed outing against Brighton last weekend. There are reports that Ten Hag wants a genuine competitor signed, but the Spaniard continues to remain the first-choice goalkeeper at the current point of time.
The backline could remain identical to the season opener. Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw should continue in the full-back positions. Dalot is now clearly the first-choice right-back over Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who lacks the attacking output.
Summer signing Tyrell Malacia showed plenty of promise throughout pre-season, but Ten Hag was content to trust the experience of Shaw at left-back last weekend. He seems to have plans of easing Malacia into the proceedings.
At the heart of the defence, Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez are widely expected to keep their places. Martinez had a promising full debut for United, winning five ground duels, two tackles as well as making four clearances.
In front of the back four, we anticipate at least one change. Both Scott McTominay and Fred were poor against Brighton. Ten Hag opted to bench Fred shortly after the interval, but McTominay could have easily got the early chop as well.
We don’t see Ten Hag dropping both players at once. Fred could get the nod over McTominay for the holding midfield role this evening. The Brazilian is better with his distribution than the Scot, and has the added tenacity to suit Ten Hag.
The experiment to play Christian Eriksen as a false nine failed in the first half versus Brighton. However, the Dane appeared back to his best from a central role in the second half, delivering some wonderful crosses into the penalty box.
The new signing should start alongside Fred against Brentford. Further forward, Bruno Fernandes should keep his place in the number 10 role ahead of Donny van de Beek, but the Portuguese needs to step up his game to sustain his spot.
He was poor against Brighton, missing a golden scoring chance early. Either side of him, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho are expected to start. Rashford has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain lately, but Ten Hag has dismissed the speculation.
The Dutch tactician said that he is ‘really happy‘ with the England star. We fully expect him to start from his preferred left-wing position despite missing two scoring chances last weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo looks on course to lead the attack with Anthony Martial out with a hamstring issue.
Ronaldo’s introduction in the second half against Brighton brought a positive influence on the players. The 37-year-old is a genuine match-winner on his day, and he will be pivotal against the Bees as United look to register their first win of the campaign.
How Man Utd are expected to line up vs Brentford
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and SofaScore.com
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