Manchester United return to Premier League action against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday night and ahead of the game, it has been reported that Bruno Fernandes could be sidelined with an ankle injury.
The news is a huge blow for manager Erik ten Hag. The Portuguese has been United’s best creative midfielder and his absence could pose two selection headaches for the north London trip.
Against Sevilla last week, Ten Hag decided to play Marcel Sabitzer in the number 10 role with Christian Eriksen behind him. The decision failed to work out as Sevilla won the midfield battle.
Sabitzer was poor with his overall distribution and completed just 58 per cent of his passes. Meanwhile, Eriksen was not at his best after his ankle injury and was overrun on a few occasions.
In our opinion, Ten Hag can’t afford to repeat the same mistake against Spurs. We believe Eriksen should be entrusted with the attacking midfield role with his better control and ability to pick out key passes.
This would reduce the defensive burden on him. Instead of Sabitzer, Fred should partner Casemiro in the centre of the park – similar to the 2-0 win over Spurs in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford.
Fred was brilliant on that day with his movement in the final third. He opened the scoring shortly after the break and was also involved in the lead-up to Fernandes’ strike in the 69th minute.
The Brazilian was almost an undisputed starter at the beginning of the year after an injury to Eriksen. His work rate and ability to close down opponents was appreciated by many fans.
He has surprisingly failed to start regularly over the last few weeks. We would personally prefer Ten Hag to reunite the Brazilian duo in midfield with Eriksen in the number 10 position.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com and Sofascore.com
- Man Utd handed big boost as Juventus lower price tag for Dusan Vlahovic
- Man Utd in pole position in Kim Min-jae race but PSG could explore deal for him
- ‘Above all’: Man Utd leading race to sign Rasmus Hojlund, need to make ‘big offer’
- Man Utd provide ‘strong competition’ in race to sign AZ Alkmaar forward Jesper Karlsson
- Man Utd boss ten Hag deems Victor Lindelof ‘untouchable’
- PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi playing significant role in Manchester United takeover bid
- Stats show why Kim Min-jae is the perfect signing for Man Utd over Axel Disasi
- Sheikh Jassim will not end interest in Manchester United if Friday deadline passes
- Manchester United finalising proposal to sign Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa
- Man Utd linked with Juventus star Federico Chiesa who could be sold for €30-35m