It’s also interesting to note that Anthony Martial hasn’t made it to the bench today. That is probably the right call, given his injury history and the tougher tests that lay ahead.
Once again, though, it highlights just how light United are on attacking options, with an under the weather Rashford the only option from the bench. Christian United have suffered from a noticeable drop-off in creativity whenever Eriksen has been missing this season. Today they have no choice but to play without him, and there is pressure for someone else to step up and match what he brings to the table.
Fred might be an unlikely starter, but he’s actually played his best football in a similar role. Sean Longstaff is back in the fold at Newcastle and comes up against a team who briefly considered spending £50m to sign him in 2019. In time, the Solskjaer period will look like something from a parallel universe and Longstaff wasn’t the weirdest recruitment-related story (that was Ighalo). In fairness, Ten Hag tried to sign Arnautovic.
It’s another huge day for Diogo Dalot in the battle of the right-backs today. He started the season well but has regressed in recent weeks, perhaps as a result of the heavy workload that has seen him start every match this campaign.
On the other side is Kieran Trippier, a player United looked at signing themselves last year, but were put off by the finances involved. No player has created more chances from set plays in the Premier League this season than Trippier (11), while the England full-back has also played more passes into the box than any other player this term (124).
KARIM BENZEMA PUTS REAL MADRID AHEAD OF BARCA‼️pic.twitter.com/03nxVk1w43
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) October 16, 2022