How have the Red Devils fared on the International Break?
|Rashford and De Gea met at Wembley in September and they met again in Sevilla, and Rashford scored again
Image from Zimbio
Well let’s be honest, the minority of football fans enjoy the international break. It is a time in which the League is forgotten and the players soar off to their various home countries to prepare for friendlies or international tournaments before coming back for the return of the Premier League on Saturday, with a 12:30 game of Chelsea vs Manchester United. Only nine United players featured over the international break but let’s see how well they have all done:
ARGENTINA – SERGIO ROMERO
Sergio Romero’s return to fitness was greeted by many with praise and relief. However his nightmare against Derby County, in which he conceded a swerving freekick and then was sent off for an out-of-the-box handball, has been criticised by many. But he remains as Argentina’s no.1 keeper and featured for full 90 minutes in both games against Iraq and Brazil. While Romero kept a clean sheet against the Middle Eastern football team, he was forced into making three saves to deny Brazil until Miranda headered in a 92nd minute winner.
|Image from Zimbia|
BELGIUM – ROMELU LUKAKU AND MAROUANE FELLAINI
While Lukaku made the difference against Switzerland for Belgium as his brace sealed victory for the Belgians, Marouane Fellaini watched on as an unsused substitute. Lukaku has now scored four goals so far in the two games that Belgium have played, meaning he has now got a 45 minutes/goal ratio in the UEFA Nations League. Lukaku was unfortunately brought off at half-time against the Netherlands and Marouane Fellaini was not even mentioned as a substitute given his injury which, although prevented him from playing, means he should be fit for the game against Chelsea.
BRAZIL – FRED
Fred has not had the best time at United and his fortune for his country has not improved. He featured against Saudi Arabia but only for the first half as Brazil fought hard for a 2-0 win. He was then an unused substitute against Argentina as Brazil dramatically won from Miranda’s header.
ENGLAND – MARCUS RASHFORD
With Luke Shaw and Jesse Lingard injured and unavailable for squad selection, Marcus Rashford was the only United representative for the Three Lions. Rashford has had a tough start to the season and barely made half the mark he did last season. He has only scored one league goal but could have scored many more had he not been so wasteful in front of goal, most noteably against Newcastle when he easily could have got himself a brace. This was reflected in England’s first game against Croatia when he spurned another brace of chances to win the game for England and give them their first win in the UEFA Nations League. His fortunes improved against Spain of all teams as a goal and assist for Sterling helped the Three Lions to a surprise victory in Spain. He will be hoping to continue his form against Chelsea at the weekend.
FRANCE – PAUL POGBA
Well, Pogba has not had it easy for France. All the pressure of the English press and Manchester United’s poor start to the season cannot be doing him any good and his performances reflect it. He was brought off after 67 minutes against Iceland as France were 2-0 down despite coming back to draw 2-2. He was also culpable for the German goal as he gave away the ball in the build-up to the penalty, but was also involved in the play prior to Griezmann’s world-class header to draw France level. Pogba played the full 90 minutes and should play against Chelsea on Saturday.
IVORY COAST – ERIC BAILLY
Bailly had a tough time against Newcastle as he was substituted before 20 minutes had been registered on the clock. But against the Central African Republic, he scored and kept a clean sheet and kept another in the reverse fixture away from home. Perhaps he will start against Chelsea or perhaps Lindelof will come in for the Ivorian. Only Mourinho knows.
SPAIN – DAVID DE GEA
David de Gea has been excellent for Manchester United this season but for Spain, he has struggled to produce the same form. He did keep a clean sheet in the first half against Wales and was substituted for Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga after the break. De Gea then played the full 90 minutes against England but was subject to a first half maelstrom of attacking football from the Three Lions and three unsaveable finishes that gave England a surprising first half lead.
SWEDEN – VICTOR LINDELOF
Lindelof has been a regular in the Swedish lineup but unfortunately never managed to seal a starting position for United, as questions over his ability continue. He was poor against West Ham and then was replaced in the game against Newcastle for Eric Bailly. For Sweden, he featured in the UEFA Nations League fixture against Russia, in which Lindelof kept a clean sheet in the Kaliningrad Stadium. Sweden’s friendly match against Slovakia ended in a 1-1 draw but Lindelof could only watch on as an unused substitute as Albert Rusnack scored a late equaliser for the Slovaks to cancel out John Guidetti’s opening goal. Lindelof, like Bailly is aiming to fight for his place against Chelsea as Chris Smalling is almost a guaranteed starter.