By Mark Weasley
Manchester United entertain West Ham in the first match at Old Trafford of the 2017/18 season as Jose Mourinho looks to win the title in his second season at the club. The game has been overshadowed by the return of former striker, Javier Hernandez but Paul Scholes, the Manchester United legend has said that Mourinho should start Marcus Rashford and Marouane Fellaini in the match against Slaven Bilic’s men.
Scholes, notoriously shy in his playing days, but now a pundit reiterated that the pair must have played their way into Jose Mourinho ‘s thoughts ahead of the season opener. Rashford and Fellaini changed the game against Real Madrid in the European Super Cup in Skopje on Tuesday night, a game the Red Devils lost 2-1.
We take a look at Scholes’ preferred starting eleven for the clash on Saturday.
David de Gea was good in Skopje and is expected to start against West Ham. The Spanish goalkeeper has put speculation about a move to Real Madrid behind him, and looks settled ahead of the new season and barring any injuries, he should start.
Mourinho opted for a back three in the clash against Real Madrid as he used the likes of Victor Lindelof, Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian, however, with Phil Jones and Eric Bailly back after being suspended for the Tuesday match, both should start in the heart of the defence.
Lindelof was shaky, but impressed sufficiently in the second half but should be benched for this game as Jose must blood him gently to acclimatise to the league. At full back, Antonio Valencia should get the nod at right back while on the left, Daley Blind should play.
Marouane Fellaini should come in for Ander Herrera, who struggled in the clash against the European champions. Fellaini changed the dimension of the game, and despite being linked to an exit following the arrival of Nemanja Matic, he is still a key player for Jose and should be partnered by Paul Pogba and Matic, who played very well in Skopje.
Jose has signed Matic to offer balance in the middle of the park and help Pogba overcome his defensive responsibilities to make sure he has a better season than he did last season following a then world record transfer move from Juventus.
Rashford was excellent against Los Blancos and should come in for this one. The 19-year-old England international has looked good in pre-season so far and should get to play from the left of a front three.
Armenia international, Henrikh Mkhitaryan should start as he performed well in Skopje and his creativity could be key in unlocking West Ham’s picky defence which sits deep against the big teams. Romelu Lukaku, the big money signing from Everton should lead the line after his exploits in midweek, and will be confident heading into this clash given his excellent record against West Ham.
Predicted lineup: De Gea, Blind, Jones, Bailly, Valencia, Pogba, Matic, Fellaini, Rashford, Mkhitaryan, Lukaku.