As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer prepares for a crucial run of matches that might determine his Manchester United future, the pressure is rising on him.
Despite a recent slump in form, United has stuck with the man they backed so strongly in the summer transfer window, however, there is no denying the obvious need for change on the pitch, at least this weekend.
United know they need to earn a positive result when they travel to Watford this weekend in order to create momentum ahead of a season-defining run that includes games against Villarreal, Chelsea, and Arsenal in the space of nine days. This, and other football results will be available on the VWin betting platform, the top-ranking Asian bookmaker.
Solskjaer is well aware that his team selection at Vicarage Road this Saturday will be crucial, and he has five spots up for grabs ahead of the encounter.
United’s defense has been abysmal this season, and with Raphael Varane still out due to injury, a crucial choice must be made this weekend.
Harry Maguire has rediscovered his form over the international break and will certainly start at Vicarage Road, but who should partner him remains a mystery.
Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly have both been inconsistent this season, but with Varane out, one of them will have to start on Saturday, and any of them could make a case.
In the current pecking order, Lindelof looks to be ahead of Bailly, but against a speedy forward line, there is reason to believe the Ivorian should start instead.
Luke Shaw was substituted in the defeat to Man City just before the international break, and he missed both England matches while he recovers from a concussion.
He should be ready to play this weekend after another week of rest, but even if he is, there is an argument to be made that he should be dropped following a dismal start to the season.
Shaw hasn’t been terrible, but he’s fallen well short of the expectations he set early in the year, and he may benefit from the belief that he has strong competition in Alex Telles.
Shaw’s world-class form coincided with the signing of the Brazilian, and considering his previous dominance of the position, he may have become too comfortable there.
Given their previous struggles with an axis of Fred and Scott McTominay, United have a few concerns in midfield, and it is evident that a change is required for a game in which they are expected to dominate.
McTominay missed both of Scotland’s games over the international break due to a throat illness, and it appears that he or teammate Fred will be dropped this weekend.
In their place, United can opt for a more open 4-3-3 formation to better use their offensive capabilities, with Donny van de Beek starting in an attacking role or Nemanja Matic converting to a holding role.
The loss of Paul Pogba may deter them from fielding such an open midfield, but it is evident that something needs to change, and a new midfield balance must be found in the long run.
Watford, like any other top-flight opponent, deserves respect, but they are vulnerable to massive offensive talent, which United could exploit this weekend.
Mason Greenwood and Jadon Sancho are Solskjaer’s two obvious right flank choices, and there’s a case to be made that any of them should start in attack.
Despite a few poor runs, Greenwood has been United’s most consistent forward this calendar year, but Sancho is in need of confidence and might benefit from starting against a weaker side.
Both of them are expected to appear at some point this weekend, but only one of them can start on the right.
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