Manchester United vs Derby County Preview
|Image from i2.wp.com|
|Image from Daily Mail|
A poor performance on Saturday overshadowed United’s good form of late as the run of three back-to-back wins came to an end as Wolves held United to a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford. It was a performance full of attacking play and excellent goalkeeping from both David de Gea and Rui Patricio but in the end the result was a just one but a damaging one for the Red Devils as they now lie in seventh place as Arsenal beat Everton 2-0 on Sunday. United now have a cup game against Frank Lampard’s Derby County to prepare for and many questions surround the fixture, mostly centred around team selection.
One player guaranteed to start is Diogo Dalot who, although impressing against Young Boys in the Champions League, was rested against Wolves for the returning Valencia. While Rashford serves the last of his three-game suspension, Matic is free to start against his former teammate’s side and was sorely missed against Wolves. Jose Mourinho has also announced that while Ander Herrera, Phil Jones and Sergio Romero are now all fit to play, Marcos Rojo will remain sidelined as his injury continues to hamper his fifth season at United. Jose went on to say that he would limit squad rotation as this is a vital game. He went on to claim that because the new rules indicate that after 90 minutes, there will be no extra time and will go straight to penalies, United need their best squad in order to overcome the Rams.
One player who a lot of criticism has been directed at is Alexis Sanchez. He was below average against Wolves and does not seem like the same player that starred for Arsenal for the last three and a half seasons. He loses the ball regulary, rarely shoots and when he does, the net seems never to bulge. There are two options for Mourinho with Sanchez, drop him for the game and allow someone like Martial or Mata to step up and take their chance, or keep him in the side and see whether Derby can offer Alexis the confidence boost he needs and if not, bench him for the weekend. This seems the most likely as he desperately needs to get off the mark and if he does, it could open the floodgates for another double-figure season for Sanchez.
This should be a good game as United will be encouraged to attack Derby County and could easily beat them five or six nil on their day. Lampard could do the usual thing of sitting back and hitting on the counter but may decide to challenge United attack for attack as Wolves did for the majority of the game and see what happens. Either way, United have to win to prevent another tragic loss this season and a victory is all that I see happening tomorrow night.
Predicted Lineup: De Gea, Dalot, Smalling, Lindelof, Shaw, Fellaini, Herrera, Pogba, Sanchez, Martial, Lukaku
PREDICTED SCORE: 4-1 to United