Manchester United have endured a tough couple of months in the Premier League.
They are currently languishing in sixth spot with just 17 points from 11 games, five points adrift of the Champions League places.
Their title prospects are also fading, with nine points separating them from in-form leaders Chelsea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains United’s manager despite four defeats in the last six outings.
The Norwegian is under immense pressure to turn the club’s fortunes around after the international break, and there should be some changes in the line-up.
For starters, Solskjaer may do away with the three-man backline.
The formation worked seamlessly against a lacklustre Tottenham Hotspur outfit, but Atalanta and Manchester City got behind the defence on multiple occasions, scoring two goals apiece.
Here is how United could line up after the international break.
David de Gea has saved United’s blushes on numerous occasions this term.
He made five fantastic saves in the Manchester derby while also preventing an own goal.
Despite this, the Red Devils ended up conceding twice. The Spaniard will want better protection in front of him.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is better equipped at right-back as he is not an attacking full-back by trade.
He should revert to his familiar position and will most likely be accompanied by Luke Shaw on the opposite side.
With Raphael Varane sidelined until the end of November with a hamstring injury, Solskjaer will have to rely on either Victor Lindelof or Eric Bailly as the central defensive partner for Harry Maguire.
Bailly produced a strong second-half performance in the 2-2 draw at Atalanta but could not replicate the showing in the Manchester derby, conceding an own goal trying to clear his lines.
Inconsistency and injuries have been a prime concern throughout Bailly’s United career.
This should see Lindelof get the nod over him to partner Maguire, who appears an undisputed starter as captain.
Solskjaer publicly backed the midfield pairing of Scott McTominay and Fred earlier this season, but the duo have struggled to produce a combined performance worthy of selection.
It is unlikely that Solskjaer will drop both players for the Watford trip next weekend.
McTominay has been the better player defensively, and Fred could get the axe from the starting line-up.
With Paul Pogba suspended and potentially injured for the long term, it could be an ideal time for Donny van de Beek to earn an extended run of games in the league.
The Dutchman has been largely ignored by Solskjaer with less than 600 minutes of league football since his arrival last year.
It is clear that Van de Beek is a progressive midfielder by nature. United would benefit from more creativity from the centre of the park.
Bruno Fernandes is an undisputed starter from the number 10 position. The same could be said for Marcus Rashford on the left wing.
He has been in good form since his return from shoulder surgery, bagging three goals from six appearances.
Mason Greenwood has made a fine start to the season with four league goals, but it could be time to unleash Jadon Sancho from the right side of the attack.
The Englishman has hardly played from the position, and there has recently been talk about him potentially playing right wing-back.
When United were first interested in Sancho last year, it was clear that he was being pursued to bolster the right-wing position.
He has looked far from his best since his summer arrival. A consistent run of starts could bring back his lost form and confidence.
There are no question marks over Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence up front
The Portuguese has been one of the shining lights for United over the past couple of months despite their poor league form.
His late goal heroics in the Champions League alone warrant a starting spot.
How Man Utd could line up (4-2-3-1) after the international break
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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