Manchester United ready themselves to face the newly promoted Huddersfield Town after a week of severe bashing from football purists. Several pundits have been critical of Jose Mourinho’s reserved approach against Liverpool and Benfica in the last seven days or so.
They will be expected to pick all three points when they visit Huddersfield and Mourinho will make sure not to disappoint the fans. Except for the Liverpool game, when United went into an ultra-defensive mode, Mourinho’s men have been ruthless. They have shown versatility by playing a different brand of football according to the demands of the situation.
Mourinho is used to facing such flak but the Portuguese tactician is unlikely to change his approach as all that matter in the end in are the results. Against Huddersfield though, it is crucial that United collect all three points.
Manchester United’s midfield issues will not be resolved anytime soon as the manager is still cagey on Marouane Fellaini and Paul Pogba’s return. Zlatan Ibrahimović is slated for an early December return while Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw would be given some more warm-up matches before bringing them back to the first team. Michael Carrick continues to be out of action.
Here is the predicted lineup for the upcoming game:
David de Gea’s place in the starting lineup is not up for a debate. The Spanish shot-stopper is undoubtedly the best goalkeeper in the league currently and can walk into any team in the world.
The experienced duo of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young will guard the right and left back positions respectively. Mourinho prefers to play Young ahead of Blind due to the sheer attacking input that he brings from that position. His pace and crossing add more in the attacking third.
Eric Bailly is still battling the injury that he picked up in the international break. Though Victor Lindelöf gave a good account of himself against Benfica, Chris Smalling could start alongside the impressive Phil Jones.
Jones has been an absolute revelation this season as he seems to have regained the form. He has been strong on the air and while tackling too.
Nemanja Matic will be upbeat after a complete performance against Benfica in the Champions League. He shielded the defence well and played a central role in starting the counter-attacks. He will have the similar responsibility against the Terriers and expect him to come out on top once again.
Ander Herrera will have a different job at hand this time than the one he had against Liverpool. At Anfield, he played the hard-tackling defensive midfielder and denied Liverpool clear-cut chances. His high work ethic and commitment to the team has made him a favourite among the fans. Against Huddersfield, he will be expected to make a few late runs into the box and be more active in the final third.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has looked out of touch ever since making a bright start in the first couple of weeks. He had some listless games against Liverpool and Benfica but would hope to make amends in this game. Juan Mata will play in his usual inwards right winger position. He links up well with Lukaku and uses his intelligence and sense of positioning to create goal-scoring chances.
Anthony Martial should start in order to avoid troubling Marcus Rashford’s knee niggle which forced him to go off the pitch against Benfica. Martial has been in great form in the limited number of minutes. He will look forward to stamping an authority in this game. Romelu Lukaku too will be waiting to improve on his mediocre performances over the last couple of games.