Manchester United return from the World Cup break against Burnley in the Carabao Cup last 16, and Erik ten Hag should pick a strong team.
Manchester United return to action after the World Cup break with a Carabao Cup round of 16 clash against Burnley at Old Trafford tonight. And Erik ten Hag is expected to name a strong team as he vies to lift silverware in his first season as Red Devils manager.
The Dutchman should call on a few players who travelled to Qatar with their respective countries for the World Cup this winter. At least one star who progressed as far as the quarter-finals could feature as United look to prevent a shock result against ex-Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany’s Championship leaders.
Express Sport runs through Ten Hag’s likely line-up when United battle Lancashire rivals Burnley for a place in the quarter-finals.
Goalkeeper – De Gea
David de Gea incredibly didn’t feature in Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for the World Cup due to qualms over the United No 1’s ball-playing ability. That didn’t work out too well for Enrique, who lost his job after the Spaniards crashed out to Morocco in the last 16.
De Gea was part of United’s winter camp in Spain and should resume his role as Ten Hag’s first-choice stopper this evening. But Martin Dubravka’s only appearance for the club came in the previous round against Aston Villa, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him start again here.
Defence – Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Malacia
Diogo Dalot is back at Carrington but is still thought to be nursing a knock he picked up in the latter stages of Portugal’s World Cup campaign, in which he massively impressed.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka should fill in now he’s fully fit in what could be his final appearance for the club before a January exit.
Louis van Gaal included Tyrell Malacia in his Netherlands squad, but the young left-back didn’t feature once and will be eager to get back to it under Ten Hag.
With first-choice pairing Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane reaching the World Cup final, Harry Maguire will likely have to be rushed back to action to partner Victor Lindelof in central defence.
Midfield – McTominay, Eriksen, Van de Beek
Scott McTominay is a certain starter, starting both of United’s winter friendlies against Cadiz and Real Betis. Zidane Iqbal may be hopeful of a game before a potential January loan move. However, after Denmark’s group-stage World Cup exit Christian Eriksen should partner McTominay after a couple of weeks’ rest.
Ten Hag will be anticipating Bruno Fernandes’ return after the playmaker was one of the star players in Qatar. But Burnley will come too early for the Portuguese ace, who stats suggest could thrive after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit. Donny van de Beek should receive another chance to impress in attacking midfield.
Attack – Elanga, Garnacho, Martial
Antony is back at Carrington and has played every game he’s been fit for since reuniting with Ten Hag at Old Trafford in the summer. But he could be saved for the Nottingham Forest game on December 27, with Anthony Elanga getting a chance to start on the right of the attack.
Alejandro Garnacho ended the first part of the season sensationally, snatching the late winner in the trip to Fulham. He will hope to reignite his momentum against Burnley, with Anthony Martial, now United’s only natural first-team striker, set to start up front after his return to fitness over the break.