Manchester United take on Nottingham Forest in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Old Trafford and this is the team that we think that Erik ten Hag will select this evening.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 1, 2023
United are already 3-0 up in the tie, as they beat Forest at the City Ground, and tonight United have the chance to book their place in the final, where they will face Newcastle.
David de Gea – We think that the United manager will opt for David de Gea in goal, even though there could be a possibility for ten Hag to give the Spaniard the night off and play Tom Heaton.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – It remains to be seen whether Diogo Dalot will be fit for the game against the Tricky Trees, which means that there is a strong possibility that the United number 29 will keep his place in the starting line-up, having performed admirably since the World Cup.
Harry Maguire – The centre-back pairing was arguably the hardest selection to make because United have good options at the heart of the defence, but we think that ten Hag will go with Maguire at centre-back, which also means that Raphael Varane will be fully rested for the Crystal Palace game and that is a positive for United, who have a busy schedule coming up.
Lisandro Martinez – After his Player of the Match display in the win over Forest last week, we think that Martinez will partner Maguire in defence, and tactically it makes sense because the Reds are expected to have the lion share of the ball. Notwithstanding, both Victor Lindelof and Varane have shown that they are capable with the ball at their feet as well.
Tyrell Malacia – Luke Shaw missed the game against Reading because of illness, and it probably makes sense to give him more time to recover, which should give Malacia an opportunity to start once again, just like he did in the first leg and against Reading on Saturday.
Casemiro – With ten Hag saying that United will select a strong team, we think that he will start Casemiro and look to substitute him in the second half because at the moment, United only have two midfielders in Casemiro and Fred. Even though Marcel Sabitzer has joined on loan from Bayern Munich, he is yet to formalise his visa procedure in order to feature, so instead, he will watch the game from the stands [Man Utd].
Fred – The manager spoke positively about the partnership that Fred and Casemiro have for Brazil, which gives us an indication that ten Hag might go down that route tonight as United do not have many options, with both Christian Eriksen and Scott McTominay both on the sidelines.
Antony – The United number 21 has performed well in recent weeks and he was voted as ITV’s Player of the Match during the 3-1 win over Reading on Saturday evening, and we think that Antony will start in what is the start of a defining month for United, in which they have eight matches in 26 days.
Bruno Fernandes – The United creative midfielder has been in prolific form in recent weeks as he has notched up 3 goals and 4 assists in his last eight matches [Transfermarkt].
Alejandro Garnacho – We think that Garnacho will start for United and it would be wise for Marcus Rashford to be given a rest tonight as United should have enough to book their spot in the 2022/23 Carabao Cup final at Wembley.
Wout Weghorst – The striker, who signed from Burnley on loan in January, has made an impression on the United fans with his work-rate and he got his rewards with a fine finish last week in the first-leg so we expect him to start tonight as he is in good form and also because Anthony Martial is still making his way back to full fitness.
Ten Hag said that Jadon Sancho will be in the match day squad for the game against the Tricky Trees, which will be a step in the right direction for the former Borussia Dortmund man and the Dutchman also confirmed that Martial will be back with the team [via Man Utd]. However, if I was in the manager’s shoes, then I would start the pair on the bench, and look to bring them on in the second half, where hopefully they will have more freedom to express themselves.