Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick could gamble by throwing Harry Maguire into his starting XI for Saturday’s Premier League clash with West Ham. The England international has been benched for recent matches amid his recovery from injury. So Express Sport will now take a look at how the Red Devils should line up for the match with the Hammers on Saturday.
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Goalkeeper: De Gea
Is there a better goalkeeper in the Premier League than David de Gea right now?
For a few years, the United star has been inconsistent. But, since the start of the campaign, the 31-year-old has been back to his best.
United were indebted to De Gea against Brentford on Wednesday night, with Rangnick saying afterwards: “He has been doing that for the past few weeks, brilliant saves in the first half, one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now I would say.”
With De Gea so good, he’s become undroppable.
And that means Dean Henderson will have to make do with a place on the bench for a little while longer.
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Midfield: Fred, McTominay, Fernandes
Fred has been impressive for United in recent weeks, with the Brazil international gradually improving.
Yet Scott McTominay has arguably been the best player of the Rangnick era so far.
The German was enthused by his showing against Brentford, saying: “In the second half, Scott, I must say once again, was a real leader.
“He played with authority and when we needed it most.
“I think that had almost a positively contagious effect on all the other players in the centre of the pitch.”
Both players should, therefore, play against West Ham with Bruno Fernandes playing further ahead.
Forwards: Greenwood, Ronaldo, Elanga
One of the shining lights of recent matches for United has been Anthony Elanga.
The young Swede was superb against Brentford, building on his promising showing against Aston Villa just days previously.
Therefore, he’s likely to keep his place on the left wing.
Mason Greenwood should slot in on the right, even if Jadon Sancho is expected to be available.
And, up top, Rangnick dare not drop Cristiano Ronaldo in the wake of his strop against Brentford.
Rangnick clarifies Ronaldo strop
Speaking before United’s match with West Ham, Rangnick clarified his decision to make Ronaldo off on Wednesday night.
“Well, I think we shouldn’t make too much of a fuss out of it,” he said.
“I can only speak for myself and my coaching staff. I explained that to him during the game, we had a little conversation after we score the third goal.
“In fact, I told him the same as what I said in our press conference. The job of a football manager is to help the team win the game and it was clear from our experience at Villa Park that this time we have to do things better.
“We did it better and the only question was, who do we take off? Of course, Cristiano is a prolific goalscorer and he’s a player that will always want to play and score goals.
“He was also asking why me ‘why didn’t you take off one of the younger players?’. The answer came five minutes later when one of the younger players scored the third goal.
“Maybe Cristiano could have also scored the third goal but football is not about maybe, it is about taking a decision in the right moment.”