Manchester United got their Premier League campaign off to an impressive start against Bournemouth on Sunday. The 1-3 victory at Dean Court was less-than spectacular, but it was solid, commanding and United appeared in control from the off, a far cry from their performance in this fixture last season. Bournemouth ran out 2-1 winners in one of the darkest nights of Louis van Gaal’s reign as United fell to defeat barely three days after their limp Champions League at the hands of Wolfsburg.
It’s early days, but Jose Mourinho has installed a much-needed feeling of confidence in this United team; they looked strong, comfortable and barely broke a sweat against Bournemouth. The games come thick and fast now, with Southampton visiting Old Trafford this Friday evening. Paul Pogba is available to play having served a suspension carrying over from his last game for Juventus, but will the Frenchman be fit enough to start?
Here’s how we think Mourinho could set United out on Friday evening:
The back four picks itself. Luke Shaw struggled on a few occasions on Sunday, but that could just be down to the need to readjust to this level having been out of the team with injury for so long. Eric Bailly and Daley Blind were excellent in central defence, as was Antonio Valencia who was tireless on the right flank.
Paul Pogba should start, potentially alongside Ander Herrera with the Spaniard sitting back a bit deeper and allowing Pogba to sweep forward when the opportunity presents itself. His stamina is such that Herrera won’t need to sit too deep, as Pogba will certainly put a shift in off the ball.
Up front, it’s hard to drop any of the goalscoring trio of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney or Juan Mata. All three have faced either criticism or speculation coming into this season based on their future at the club or their future in Mourinho’s starting XI, but they all took their chances well with the Swede’s excellent low, long-range strike to seal the three points the pick of the bunch. The temptation may be to remove Anthony Martial for this particular game in order to give Marcus Rashford a game on the left side of attack. The 18-year old replaced the Frenchman in that position last weekend against Leicester City last weekend, and Rashford certainly has the pace and dribbling ability to be a threat in that position.
What do you make of our line-up? Do you agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments below!