Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford on Monday evening hoping for a response after a disastrous result against Brighton & Hove Albion. Last Sunday’s 3-2 defeat on the south coast was particularly damaging for Jose Mourinho, with the majority of his players looking incapable of raising their game in the second half when 3-1 down, and given Manchester City’s strong start to the campaign, United’s deficiencies were thrown into even sharper relief.
Alexis Sanchez, Nemanja Matic and Antonio Valencia have all returned to training, with the former having missed the Brighton game and his teammates hoping to take part in their first game this season.
Should the Ecuadorian not be deemed fit to start, Paul Pogba will likely hold onto the captain’s armband. The Frenchman admitted that his attitude was ‘wrong’ during last weekend’s defeat, and will be expected to show the kind of form that earned him Man of the Match award against Leicester City in the season opener.
David de Gea will be hoping for a sturdier performance from Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof in the centre of defence, should the duo be selected on Monday. The Spaniard has shipped four goals so far this term in an uncharacteristically porous start, and both the Swede and Ivorian will need to offer far less error-strewn performances if they start Monday’s game.
Elsewhere, Jesse Lingard could make his first start to the season after featuring in the second half of last weekend’s game. Romelu Lukaku will almost certainly start up front, likely flanked by Marcus Rashford with Sanchez presumably unable to return in time for Spurs’ visit.
Jose Mourinho will also need to decide if Fred and Andreas Pereira can be trusted in midfield alongside Pogba after struggling against Brighton’s pressing last Sunday.
Potential starting XI: De Gea; Shaw, Lindelof, Bailly, Darmian; Matic, Fred, Pogba; Rashford, Lingard, Lukaku