Manchester United sack Ole Gunnar after Watford defeat
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Manchester United go up against Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday night seeking a first win under Michael Carrick. The former midfielder has, temporarily, been put in charge of the side following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Express Sport will now take a look at the latest team news and predict how they’ll line up for the match in Spain.
Goalkeeper: De Gea
United have been wretched at the back this term, conceding 21 goals from their opening 11 matches.
When you compare that with Chelsea (four), Manchester City (six) and Liverpool (11), that makes for rather grim reading.
But while United have been poor defensively, David De Gea has been back to his best.
The 31-year-old is finally consistent again having spent the last two years battling to regain the form of old.
And with United needing to win, the experienced head is expected to start between the sticks.
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Defence: Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Telles
United decided to put Harry Maguire to speak out before the match with Villarreal.
But with the England international a liability at present, Carrick could feasibly take him out of the firing line.
Maguire will be absent for the weekend’s match with Chelsea and with Eric Bailly needing some minutes to get up to speed, it may be the perfect time for the Ivory Coast international.
Luke Shaw is a doubt for the fixture in Spain.
So it’s possible Alex Telles will be picked in his place, with the Brazil international patiently waiting in the wings.
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Midfield: Fred, Van de Beek, Fernandes
United’s midfield duo of Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic played like statues against Watford last time out.
Therefore, Carrick could potentially decide to demote both to the bench.
Fred was on the bench for the match with Watford and, given his Champions League experience, will possibly come back into the fold.
And Donny van de Beek was the only shining light at Vicarage Road, with the 24-year-old shining off the bench.
Van de Beek and Fred could be deployed in a flat midfield two, with Bruno Fernandes then in the No 10 position.
Forwards: Sancho, Ronaldo, Rashford
With Edinson Cavani a doubt and Mason Greenwood hit with coronavirus, Carrick will likely stick with the same front three that started the match against Watford.
That means Jadon Sancho on the right, with the England international looking to finally score or assist for the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo won’t be demoted to the bench, especially given his fine form in the competition.
And Marcus Rashford could be pitched on the left.
While the trio have all struggled of late, talent should surely shine through in the end.
Carrick wary of Villarreal threat
Speaking ahead of United’s clash with Villarreal, Carrick admitted he was impressed with Unai Emery’s side.
“They are a very good team, well organised, well coached. Two different games,” he said.
“The final we played very well, stopped them for long periods but no cutting edge. Manner of the lose hurt but got to say we weren’t good enough on the night.
“Other game. They have good technical players, speed, penetration. They have a good mix, good balance. We respect that.
“We will be going there with a plan to come out on top. A big game for both teams but one we can go and look forward to.”
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