By Mark Weasley
After beating West Ham on the opening weekend of the 2017/18 season, Manchester United travel to the Liberty Stadium to take on Welsh outfit, Swansea who got an opening day draw away at Southampton. Jose Mourinho takes on his former Chelsea colleague, Paul Clement, who is rapidly enhancing his reputation as a top-level manager after spells as assistant to Carlo Ancelotti.
After a disappointing loss to Real Madrid in the European Super Cup last week, United bounced back against the Hammers last time out, with goals from Lukaku(2), Mkhitaryan and Martial condemning Slaven Bilic’s men to yet another defeat at Old Trafford.
United will be looking to get 3 points in Wales to enhance our reputation as early season title favourites. We take a look at the probable starting XI for the Red Devils in the match that kicks off at Saturday lunchtime.
David de Gea should continue in goal as he looked decent in goal when called upon against West Ham. The Spanish number 1 was linked to Real Madrid in the third consecutive summer but he is highly admired by manager, Jose Mourinho who backs him unequivocally and has said that the player is not for sale at any price.
Summer signing, Victor Lindelof is not expected to feature as he is still adapting to the pressure of playing for the club. In the heart of defence, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones should okay while on the left, Daley Blind should continue while on the right, Antonio Valencia is expected to feature from the start.
Jose experimented with a double pivot of Matic-Pogba that exploited the flaws of The Hammers midfield. The brawn of Matic was complemented with the grace of Pogba leaving Herrera out of the mix. The Spanish midfielder is just recovering from injury suffered in pre-season and looked out-of-sorts in the European Super Cup match against Real Madrid. Slightly forward in attacking midfield, a trio of Mata, Mkhitaryan and Martial should start at the Liberty Stadium.
Mata and Mkhitaryan were impressive last time out, and should get to play from the right and middle respectively. On the left, Anthony Martial should come in after impressing last time out. He registered a goal and an assist after coming on and should be rewarded with a start.
Romelu Lukaku is already looking the part after 3 goals in his last 2 competitive matches for the Red Devils. The 24-year-old Belgian signed for United in a £75m deal from Everton and has hit the ground running at Old Trafford.
Probable lineup: De Gea, Valencia, Jones, Bailly, Darmian, Matic, Pogba, Mata, Mkhitaryan, Martial Lukaku