Edinson Cavani and Cristiano Ronaldo are expected to start a game together for the first time tomorrow as Manchester united host Everton at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
Despite an exciting win against Villareal in the Champions League on Wednesday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are not playing well and the Norwegian is expected to change the side around to try to find some rhythm.
The defence will almost pick itself. Assuming captain Harry Maguire has not recovered from injury, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane will play at centre back, with Aaron Wan-Bissakareturning at right back after suspension and Luke Shaw hopefully fit again at left back after having missed the game in midweek due to a knock.
David de Gea’s form makes him undroppable in goal.
Mason Greenwood has played a lot of football lately and could be rested, with Jesse Lingard expected to come in. Solskjaer is a big fan of the 28-year-old, who has been impactful this season coming off the bench.
Donny van de Beek’s tantrum at not being brought on as substitute on Wednesday may lead to him being overlooked again, but a shrewd manager might use that as extra motivation to start him in his first Premier League game of the season. With Paul Pogba arguably needing a rest, a surprise pairing of McTominay and Van de Beek could be used.
Bringing in Cavani at centre forward would mean resting Ronaldo or finding another position for him. It is possible he will be pushed out to something between an inside left and left wing role, with Luke Shaw expected to push up in support and provide the extra width when on the attack.
Solskjaer will almost certainly not rest Bruno Fernandes no matter what, but he could be instructed to drop a little deeper to play as the number eight in a 4-3-3.
Of course, the above side would be fairly experimental and it may be that the manager decides instead to play it safe and revert to his tried and trusted 4-2-3-1, restoring the Scott McTominayand Fred partnership in defensive midfield.
We think even if this is the case, Lingard will be brought in for Greenwood, with Pogba again being deployed wide left and Ronaldo or Cavani – probably the former – up front.
Arguably, this would be a backward step but it would certainly not be out of character for the boss.
With all that in mind, here is our bolder-version predicted XI for tomorrow’s game: