Manchester United go in search of a fifth consecutive league victory when they take on Middlesbrough on New Year’s Eve. They are the second north-east opponent at Old Trafford in the space of five days, and United will be high on confidence after having dispatched Sunderland with ease on Boxing Day. Jose Mourinho is likely to continue his 4-3-3 set up against Boro. Here is the predicted line-up:
David de Gea:
A straightforward pick after having played in all of the league matches so far.
With rumours of Victor Lindelof’s transfer being called off, Valencia may continue as the first choice right-back for some time.
The form of the England international has been a major factor behind United’s 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
The Argentine defender has formed an unlikely, but extremely strong, partnership with Jones to provide United a platform to build upon.
Scored the goal against Sunderland, and could be expected to continue ahead of Matteo Darmian.
The box-to-box midfielder that Jose Mourinho loves. Herrera was once again brilliant against Sunderland.
The veteran played the full 90 minutes against Sunderland, but he is expected to start with Herrera’s energy providing him with the legs.
Getting better with every game, Pogba has contributed four assists and one goal in the last seven matches. He was a standout performer against Sunderland on Boxing Day.
The Armenian captivated the home crowd with an amazing backheel finish after coming on from the bench. However, he is expected to torment the Middlesbrough defence from the start.
The big Swede scored his 50th goal of 2016 with a fine finish on Boxing Day. Only Lionel Messi has scored more goals than Ibrahimovic in the calendar year.
With transfer rumours surrounding Anthony Martial, it is likely that Lingard may continue on the left side of the attack despite being unimpressive against Sunderland. He was substituted in the 62nd minute.
Early Team News for Manchester United:
Wayne Rooney is struggling with the muscle problem that kept him out against Sunderland. He remains a doubt for the game, while Luke Shaw is the other injury concern.