Jose Mourinho’s second season charm looks to be working well for Manchester United. They comfortably sit at the top of the table at the end of three matches having scored ten goals with no reply. Manchester United have had an eventful transfer window where they signed some of the best talents from around the world.
They answered their major goal-scoring woes with the signing of Romelu Lukaku from Everton. The Belgian has made a bright start to his career by netting four times in four competitive matches.
United also signed a talented centre-back in Victor Lindelof from Benfica. The Swedish defender’s exploits in the Portuguese league helped as the Red Devils made him their first signing of the summer. He will play a pivotal role once he gets accustomed to the rigours of English football.
However, Manchester United made their biggest signing when they managed to lure Nemanja Matic from Chelsea. The Serbian defensive midfielder made the shock move from London and has already established himself well in the team. Lastly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic penned a new contract, which will see him play at Old Trafford until the end of the season.
Here is Manchester United’s predicted starting XI:
Expected Formation: 4-2-3-1
GK: David de Gea
The inclusion of the Spanish shot-stopper is a no-brainer in this United lineup. He has bailed Manchester United out of difficult situations numerous times and we expect him to continue doing so. The talented goalkeeper is well past the Real Madrid transfer saga and has become a fan favourite at Old Trafford. He is easily the best goalkeeper in England right now and has managed to maintain three clean sheets in consecutive matches.
RB: Antonio Valencia
The Ecuadorian wears the captain’s armband in the absence of Michael Carrick. He has the ability to become the best right back in England this season. His marauding runs down the flanks make it difficult for the opposition fullbacks to control him. His defensive contribution is impressive too, which makes him an all-round player. Antonio Valencia is well suited to the Premier League and will be an obvious starter this season.
CB: Eric Bailly
Though Paul Pogba’s then world-record transfer put Bailly out of the limelight last year, the youngster has emerged as United’s best defender since last season. His aerial ability combined with the composure while tackling makes him an immovable figure from the defence. United tend to struggle in his absence which was evident in patches last season as well as in the UEFA Super Cup match this season. The youngster netted his first goal for United in the match against Swansea last month. He will be a constant presence on the pitch for United.
CB: Phil Jones
The injury-prone centre back finally seems to have kicked off his career in United. He is easily one of the most talented defenders in England but due to the constant injuries has failed to regularly feature in the team list. If his performances in the first three matches of the league are an indication of things to come, then United need not worry about their defence.
LB: Daley Blind
The versatile Dutch defender is the first choice left-back in the United team. In the absence of Luke Shaw, Blind has shown that the manager can trust him with the left-back role. Though he might be a bit sloppy with his tackling, his reading of the game makes up for it.
CDM: Nemanja Matic
The Serbian is easily one of the best signings of the summer. The 29-year old is well suited to the English playing conditions and has fit in beautifully in this United team. His manager puts in a lot of trust in him and Matic never fails to impress. He has given Paul Pogba the freedom to venture forward while he acts as a shield in front of the defence.
CDM: Paul Pogba
After the arrival of Nemanja Matic, Pogba does not have many defensive duties, which helps him to move forward and link-up play. The results are already bright as Pogba scored two wonderful goals in the opening two matches of the league. His understanding with Romelu Lukaku gives United an advantage over the opponents. The French midfielder can play to his true potential this season.
LW: Marcus Rasford
There is a lot of debate on whether Rashford should start over Martial. Mourinho certainly feels that the Englishman helps to tire out the defenders with his searing pace in the opening parts of the game. This helps Martial to come in later and capitalize on the situation. Rashford’s introduction gave United some teeth in the attack against Real Madrid. He also broke the deadlock against Leicester City late in the match.
CAM: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
The Armenian has settled in English football well and is now thriving in the number 10 position for United. His creativity at the centre of the park helps United to launch attacks. He sits at the top of the assists table as he has already made five assists in three matches. His through balls and short passes are beautiful to watch and Jose Mourinho will be happy after seeing his performances until now.
RW: Juan Mata
The Spaniard might not be the typical winger who would churn out crosses and cut in from the flanks but is very effective. Manchester United benefit from his link up play and understanding of the game. The former Chelsea man has kept his place in the team with some tidy performances and will be one of the first names on the team sheets.
ST: Romelu Lukaku
The Belgian has continued his rich vein of form from Everton and does not look like slowing down anytime soon. His decision-making in front of the goal has improved. He has made some tidy progress in his hold up play and looks to have become an even more effective and better player under Mourinho. Romelu Lukaku is one of the prime contenders for the Golden Boot this season.