Manchester United return from the international break sitting in 6th place in the standings with a total of 13 points from 7 matches. They will face a major test on Monday when they travel to Anfield to face 4th place Liverpool.
Let’s take a look at the possible lineup.
GK- David de Gea
De Gea made an error that led to a goal against Stoke last game, but he is still the clear #1 goalie for Manchester United. He will start every league game so long as he is healthy.
LB- Daley Blind
Luke Shaw has not played in almost a month due to injury and illness. He is expected to be available for the game on Monday, but I don’t believe that Mourinho will throw him back into the starting lineup for the Liverpool game. Blind has played very well at left back, and I think he will get another start there this week.
CB- Chris Smalling and Eric Bailly
If Blind does in fact start at left back, the logical center back duo would be Smalling and Bailly, as this pairing has had some success together. Manchester United has only conceded two goals in the last three games where Smalling and Bailly started together at center back, and one of those goals was only conceded due to an error by de Gea.
RB- Antonio Valencia
Valencia has been one of Manchester United’s better players this entire season, as he has done well keeping possession, dribbling, and tackling. He has the ability to create chances going forward, but he is also defensively sound, giving him the perfect skill set to play as a fullback.
CM- Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera
As always, Pogba is an easy choice to start, even though some critics think he should be playing better. Herrera is coming off a strong defensive game where he made 2 tackles, 5 interceptions, and 5 clearances. If he can provide that type of defensive contribution on Monday, it could give Pogba an opportunity to be more aggressive offensively.
AML- Anthony Martial
Marcus Rashford has been filling in well here recently, but it is not his natural position. Anthony Martial came on as a sub and scored a goal in Manchester United’s last match against Stoke, and I think that will be enough to earn him a spot in the starting XI against Liverpool.
AMC- Juan Mata
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is now fit, but Juan Mata may still be the best option for Mourinho at this position. Mata has has demonstrated very strong passing abilities, and he has scored two goals in six league appearances so far this season. Mata still struggles to provide much of a defensive contribution, but overall it is difficult to argue with his performances so far this season.
AMR- Jesse Lingard
Lingard deservedly got his first call up to the English National Team during the international break, and he made his first two appearances for his nation. For Manchester United, Lingard is currently the team leader in key passes per game with 2.3, so he has earned his spot in Mourinho’s starting lineup.
ST- Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan has scored four goals in seven league matches for Manchester United so far this season, and he has scored one goal in two Europa League matches. Not quite the same scoring rate he had in the French League, but Zlatan is still clearly a quality player.
Via – Lineup Builder