Manchester United are away to Championship outfit Derby County in the FA Cup fifth round on Thursday night.
The Rams have found some sort of form since the arrival of Wayne Rooney in January but remain in the bottom half of the second tier.
Their form is far short of what we have been producing since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes at the end of January. Progression to the quarter-finals should be a formality, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does have Sunday’s derby against Manchester City to think about.
Here is the team I think we’ll see facing Derby:
Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero
The Argentine is our cup goalkeeper and I see no reason why Sergio Romero won’t face Derby County.
Defence: Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Harry Maguire, Brandon Williams
Eric Bailly should get another opportunity as he makes his way back to full fitness following his lengthy lay-off. We are yet to concede when the Ivorian has started in recent weeks. It was a surprise to see Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw start against Club Brugge last Thursday but our regular full-backs must be rested for this one. Diogo Dalot and Brandon Williams can expect a recall to the starting lineup for this one. Harry Maguire’s leadership at the back is still important so I think the England international remains in the starting lineup.
Midfield: Scott McTominay, Fred; Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Daniel James
Nemanja Matic usually gets rested for midweek games so Scott McTominay should partner Fred in a midfield pair in front of the back four. Fred scored a brace against Club Brugge last Thursday and may fancy his chances of getting among the goals in this one too. This is a good opportunity to give starts to both Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard. The latter spent time on loan at Pride Park several years ago. Daniel James was absent during Saturday’s 1-1 draw away to Everton but should make his return for this one.
Striker: Odion Ighalo
Anthony Martial started at Goodison Park but looked like he was feeling the strains of a recent thigh injury so the French international will surely be rested with Manchester City in mind. Odion Ighalo has already proven he can find the back of the net so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t start against Derby County. He was the league’s top scorer the last time he played in the Championship.
Here is our team on paper: