Ten Hag could name three new players in squad vs Arsenal to fit his ‘Mastermind’ tactics to win Arsenal
Today, Manchester United plays Arsenal in the Premier League, and here are five things to watch for at Old Trafford.
Casemiro was not acquired to provide tactical advice in the dugout or to serve as a cheerleader. He is one of the best defensive midfielders in the world, and saving him for Real Sociedad in the Europa League on Thursday makes little sense when the Premier League leaders are at Old Trafford today.
Antony starting would be a surprise given that he hasn’t played in three weeks owing to Ajax’s strike to force through his €100 million deal.
What about the attack?
Erik ten Hag has used the same front three in three games in a row, with the most accomplished half coming against Liverpool. Anthony Elanga did not come out of the locker room after halftime that night, and he was hooked early in the second half at Leicester.
Jadon Sancho is in good scoring form, and Marcus Rashford is more effective from the left flank. Playing them either side of Cristiano Ronaldo, United’s lone consistent goal scorer, would be an intimidating onslaught against an Arsenal defense that has not been impregnable.
What about the top four?
If you googled ‘Premier League table’ after United’s midweek triumph at Leicester, you wouldn’t have had to click’see more’ to find out where they stood.
If Brighton and Tottenham both lose, a win versus Arsenal may put them back into the Champions League places.
Are there new benchwarmers?
United has a large enough group of 28 players for an atypical season that ends in November for the World Cup.
Jose Mourinho chose the same number when United played in the Europa League in his first season, but the difference was that there were too many big-hitters. In the second half of the season, Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay, and Bastian Schweinsteiger all left.
That is not the case with the present squad. Alejandro Garnacho, 18, has been a constant in matchday teams, while the squad filler is made up of players United deemed surplus in the summer.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw, Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe, and Phil Jones are all expected to be unavailable this weekend. United had two back-up goalkeepers on the bench against Leicester after signing another, and a forward might be sacrificed to make room for a more defensive-minded squad player.