Fernandes says Man Utd 'ready to win trophies'
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Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes is a doubt for Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool, according to reports. The Portugal international has been in fine form for club and country of late, clocking up five assists from his last six matches. So Express Sport will now take a look at four options for the Red Devils if they’re forced to cope without the playmaker in their ranks.
It’s been a rough season for Jesse Lingard so far.
Despite impressing with two goals and an assist, with the majority of his appearances coming as a substitute, he’s still struggled to force his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI.
But with Fernandes potentially primed to miss out, that gives Lingard a chance to shine.
It’s possible the Red Devils will deploy him in the No 10 role, despite his best performances for West Ham last term coming out on the wing.
And with United hoping to keep Lingard, giving him some action would be a shrewd move.
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Donny van de Beek
Another player who has struggled for action this season is Donny van de Beek.
The Netherlands international is yet to start in the Premier League, having been unleashed from the beginning of matches just four times last term.
Van de Beek’s frustrations are starting to boil over, too, with the 24-year-old cutting an increasingly frustrated figure on the sidelines.
Yet if Fernandes misses out, that gives Solskjaer a strong reason to start the Dutchman.
Van de Beek has been patient so far and being trusted for such a big game would boost his morale, especially with his confidence currently in tatters.
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A third option for United is to use Paul Pogba in a more advanced role.
Nearly six years on from his blockbuster return from Juventus, the jury remains out of the France international.
Pogba has, however, usually produced his best performances when deployed in attack – rather than in the heart of midfield.
Solskjaer usually likes to go with Scott McTominay and Fred for the big games, irrespective of their inconsistent form.
So, to add more creativity and flair to his side, fielding Pogba at No 10 could be the way to go.
Marcus Rashford was once a striker and, these days, he’s used on the wing by Solskjaer.
However, he used to be a No 10 during his time in the club’s academy.
And if United want to go for the jugular against Liverpool on Sunday, it’s possible Solskjaer will gamble by fielding him there.
That would free up a space on the flanks that could be filled by Jadon Sancho.
Like Van de Beek, Sancho is another player who needs a lift after being dropped for the match against Atalanta on Wednesday night.
Fernandes’ vow before Liverpool clash
Speaking on Thursday, ahead of United’s match with Liverpool, Fernandes insisted he’d continue to take risks in attack.
“It is what it is you know, you have to take a risk sometimes,” he said.
“I shouldn’t probably sometimes take so many risks as I did in the first half when I missed many, many passes – but I have to try because I have to find my strikers.
“I think sometimes I know the pass is difficult or the chance to get in is not quite there but I want to respect the movement of my striker and try to make them score.”
And he added: “I will keep doing some mistakes, but I do that mistakes sometimes trying to give my best, to help my teammates to score goals.
“The same as I do, other ones does like Fred or Scott or Paul, to play there in midfield to try our best to give the chances to our strikers.”
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