As Manchester United travel to the shores of Tyne to face the Magpies on Tuesday night, Ralf Rangnick will be faced with the problem of “The Horns of Plenty”. Going by the latest presser that he was a part of, he claimed that barring Paul Pogba, the entire team has been deemed fit.
This means names of Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Raphael Varane will be up for grabs alongside the likes of Aaron Wan Bissaka and Luke Shaw. It will be interesting to see how Ralf Rangnick shapes his playing eleven against the Black and White brigade.
Manchester has been off to a rollicking start under Rangnick as they secured a comfortable victory against Crystal Palace that was succeeded by a convincing performance afainst the Young Boys in the Champions League.
Norwich City came as a surprise and forced United to grind harder than one would expect that eventually was put to bed by Cristiano Ronaldo after a howler in the box from Max Aarons.
Ever since then, United was compelled to postpone a couple of games after their camp was hit by Covid. If things do not aggravate in the next couple of days, Manchester United will be finally hitting the pitch again and that too, away from home.
We will quickly take a glance at how the Devils can line up against the Magpies where a lot will be on the line.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
This is a no-brainer as the flying Spaniard will be playing under the wood if some last minute injury doesn’t play spoilsport. He has been phenomenal as ever and his recent form has seen him transcend himself to an immortal in the United colours. Two consecutive clean sheets underline the fact in blazing colours that come hell or high waters, De Gea cannot be dropped.
Defence: Aaron Wan Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Alex Telles
Despite the fine form of Diogo Dalot, Wan Bissaka has improved himself by leaps and bounds. His forays in the opposition attacking third has become a lot more chiselled while his defensive flair has been impeccable. Even though Lindelof has carved open much better displays than Harry Maguire in the center of late, it is highly unlikely that Rangnick would think of dethroning his team’s skipper straight away.
French center-back, Raphael Varane will be put to the mix straightaway as he has been one of those rare defensive rocks in the heart of United despite an injury-plagued season so far. Luke Shaw may have to allow Alex Telles a start given his perfect fit in Rangnick’s strategies so far.
Midfielder: Sancho, Fred, McTominay, Rashford, Bruno Fernandes
It may be a complicated structure at the heart of the Manchester United midfield with Rangnick probably going for a double-pivot through Fred and McTominay. Fred has attained the freedom to venture forth while McTominay has been a lot more solid in containing the attacks.
Rashford and Sancho will be lighting up the planks with their blistering pace while Bruno Fernandes will be the man at the heart of it all. The Portuguese sensation hasn’t really managed to kiss the skies like the last season but his presence has created a significant impact to aid the likes of a marauding Ronaldo.
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo
This may seem to be an one-man attacking unit but going by the responsibilities of Rashford and Sancho, they will be making this a trident for the Portuguese captain, pouring in from both sides. Later, the striker may even be clubbed with a sensational Mason Greenwood or a seasoned Cavani but for the starters, he will have to grind it alone against the determined Magpies.