Manchester United have a critical stretch of matches coming up against tough opponents that include Atalanta, Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
The good news for United is that forward Marcus Rashford, a cornerstone of the club’s recent resurgence into a formidable team, is returning from injury.
While Rashford has been recovering from shoulder surgery since early August, he admitted that the previous season took a toll on not only his body, but his mind. It's no secret that the schedules European clubs involved in multiple competitions over the course of a year are brutal and the football world has been increasingly cognizant of the intersection between physical health and mental health. Rashford has acutely felt this toll, playing nearly 3,000 minutes for United last season while nursing nagging injuries and then joining an England team that made it all the way to the finals over the summer.
After a three-month sabbatical, Rashford seems both physically and mentally ready to go. The question now: how should Manchester United line-up this weekend against Leicester City with Rashy back in the mix?
Here are two likely options that the manager will run with.
A 4-2-3-1 Formation
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer loves a 4-2-3-1 look, which grants him the luxury of playing two defensive midfielders behind his four creative attacking options. Although Rashford is comfortable at any spot along the front line, he’s been most productive playing on the left wing; last season, Rashford appeared in 31 matches playing on the left wing, while tallying 11 of his 21 goals and 8 of his 15 assists from that role. In Rashford’s absence, though, Paul Pogba proved to be adept in creating from this space as well, so Man U may use Rashford as a substitute while he eases back into the lineup. On the right side, Mason Greenwood should be given the nod over Jadon Sancho; Greenwood has proven to be more effective in that role so far and would give the team the best chance to score.
In this formation, here’s how Man U would line-up on Saturday vs Leicester City.