By Mark Weasley
Manchester United have finished their impressive pre-season tour with a solitary defeat coming against Barcelona. The Red Devils have recruited well this summer and are already looking like early title favourites alongside Manchester City. Manager, Jose Mourinho has brought in the likes of Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof in a bid to improve on last season’s 6th place league finish and also challenge for Europe’s holy grail.
Mourinho’s ruthlessness is back and with the fact that he has always won the league in his second campaign at every club he has managed, there will be no surprises should the Premier League title find its way to Old Trafford next May. We take a look at a possible starting formation for the coming season with probable new signing Gareth Bale.
No other keeper at the club comes close to David de Gea with the Spaniard among the best three players in that position in the world. He has looked settled after yet another summer of transfer speculation linking him with a return back to Spain with Real Madrid.
Mourinho tried the three-at-the-back system to a lot of success in the Europa League and may likely continue with what system given the summer arrival of Lindelof. The Swede is taking time to adapt and playing two central defenders may hurt his confidence. Either side of him should be Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, as both players impressed under increased scrutiny last season. In the wing back position, Antonio Valencia and Daley Blind should be key, as their pace going forward is matched by defensive resoluteness.
Central midfield looks like a well-stocked position for United as Paul Pogba has been complemented and freed from his defensive responsibilities by the signing of Matic. The former Chelsea man will offer balance and steel to the middle of the park, leaving Pogba to link up the defence and the attack and making those runs from deep.
Man United have been linked to Gareth Bale who is looking likely to leave Real Madrid if the transfer of Monaco sensation, Kylian Mbappe goes through. It is believed we are making more efforts to sign him and he will be an undisputed starter from the left of a front three.
On the right should be Mkhitaryan who has impressed so far in pre-season while upfront, Lukaku should lead the line after his £75m arrival from Everton last month.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Blind, Bailly, Lindelof, Smalling, Valencia, Pogba, Matic, Bale, Mkhitaryan, Lukaku