The Red Devils waited until the dying embers of the game to see off West Ham United in their last Premier League fixture, with substitute Marcus Rashford scoring an injury-time winner. The 1-0 win over West Ham helped Ralf Rangnick’s side get into the top four before the mid-season break.
Up next is a FA Cup home tie with Middlesbrough, who head to Old Trafford off the back of a 1-0 win over Coventry City in the Championship.
Manchester United Team News
Paul Pogba is closing in on a return from a serious thigh injury and has been pictured in recent training sessions. He could make the Manchester United lineup. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has likely recovered from the illness that kept him sidelined for a couple of games before the international break.
Jadon Sancho and Victor Lindelof missed the West Ham game with personal issues, while a minor hamstring injury has kept Luke Shaw on the sidelines in recent weeks. The trio could all return against Middlesbrough, though.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 3, 2022
Alex Telles, Fred and Edinson Cavani are all away with their nations on World Cup qualifying duty and are due to return to Manchester on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Mason Greenwood has been suspended by the club until further notice after being arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.
Predicted Manchester United Lineup vs Middlesbrough (4-3-3)
There is a big chance of Ralf Rangnick continuing with David de Gea in goal for the FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough. The Spaniard is back to his usual best this season and will be aiming to keep on a clean sheet on Friday.
Diogo Dalot has nailed down his place at right-back under Rangnick and is set to continue. Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane will keep their places in central defences from the West Ham game as well.
With Alex Telles having played the full 90 minutes in Brazil’s 4-0 win over Paraguay in the World Cup qualifiers, Luke Shaw is likely to be drafted into the Manchester United lineup.
With Rangnick wanting to play an attacking 4-3-3, it’s feasible he sticks with Fred, Scott McTominay and Bruno Fernandes in the Man United engine room. McTominay has impressed in a deeper role in recent weeks, with the Scotsman protecting the backline as well as driving forward with the ball whenever given an opportunity.
Fred seems to be enjoying an advanced midfield role than usual, while Fernandes continues to be the Reds’ go-to guy. Pogba is likelier to come off the bench against Boro than making the first team.
Anthony Elanga has repaid Rangnick’s trust in the games played recently and deserves to keep his place on the left flank. Jadon Sancho could return to the Manchester United lineup and take the right-wing spot, with Cristiano Ronaldo tasked to lead the Man United attack.
Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani will be dependable attacking options off the bench.