Some Manchester United fans have argued that including Eric Bailly in Ralf Rangnick’s starting lineup for Sunday’s match against Manchester City could be beneficial.
United, who were held to a goalless draw by Watford on Saturday afternoon, will travel to the Etihad Stadium in the hope of avenging their 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford back in November. City won that day thanks to an own-goal from Bailly and an instinctive finish from Bernardo Silva, with Pep Guardiola’s side remaining unbeaten.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in charge at the time, and United were all over the place defensively, with City punishing them. United’s defensive frailties have continued to be a major issue this season, as evidenced by their league-low seven clean sheets.
In recent games, Rangnick has not shied away from rotating his centre-back options, with Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire lining up together in a 4-2 win over Leeds and Raphael Varane partnering Lindelof against Watford. United, of course, kept a clean sheet against the Hornets, so the German would be inclined to keep both Lindelof and Varane in the defensive midfield.
Despite the fact that the Ivory Coast international has only played once for United this calendar year, some United supporters believe Bailly should be drafted into the defence against City. Since Rangnick took over, he’s only made three appearances in all competitions.
Nonetheless, United supporters want to see him reinstated to the team ahead of Sunday’s match against City. “Send Bailly out on Sunday to Keano [‘do a Roy Keane’ to] someone,” one United supporter wrote on a United reddit thread.
“On Sunday, it’ll be a true test, and I believe there are a few City players who can’t stomach a thrashing.” It might be the only way to win this one, because we no longer have the element of surprise.”
In response to the original letter, another United supporter agreed that the same technique might be required. They wrote, “We should absolutely be intending to tactically foul as much as they, without a doubt, would.”