By Dave Marshal
Manchester United travel to Merseyside in what promises to be a tough clash at the Goodison Park. Ronald Koeman’s men are in wobbly form, but will be a little bit confident against Jose Mourinho’s men, as the Red Devils themselves have not been at their usual imperious best in recent weeks. Both sides enter the clash with not the best of forms, with United drawing 1-1 against West Ham in their last league game while the Merseysiders lost to Southampton, in what proved to be an unpleasant return to the South Coast for Ronald Koeman. After a decent start to life by both teams, the players have crumbled under the weight of expectations and have been inconsistent. We take a look at how Mourinho’s men may play against last season’s FA Cup semifinalists.
Despute making an uncharacteristic error in the buildup to West Ham’s equalizer on Wednesday, David de Gea will start in the match.
Daley Blind, it seems has blown his chances of featuring for the first team as Luke Shaw put in an accomplished performance at left back against West Ham last time out. In central defence, the pairing of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo have looked dependable in the absence of Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling. Antonio Valencia will have a tough job of making Yannick Bolasie quiet, while Matteo Darmian should be content for a place on the bench.
Paul Pogba will start after returning from his suspension in midweek while Wayne Rooney will miss the game after picking up his fifth booking in the last game. Carrick should play alongside Pogba in midfield. In attacking midfield, Anthony Martial, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Juan Mata should start with the former two especially dazzling against Slaven Bilic’s men.
With Wayne Rooney out due to suspension and Marcus Rashford looking increasingly out of form,the onus to lead the attack will lie on the shoulders of the ever egoistic Ibrahimovic. He is in a rich vein of form as he has scored five goals in his last four matches.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Marcos Rojo, Shaw, Carrick, Pogba, Martial, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Ibrahimovic.