Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Rasmus Hojlund starts, Alejandro Garnacho chance and Bruno Fernandes role change – How Manchester United could line-up without Antony and Jadon Sancho

Manchester United will be forced into a new line-up against Brighton due to problems surrounding Antony and Jadon Sancho.

Brazil international Antony has a leave of absence after allegations of domestic abuse, which he denies, emerged.

Antony has been given extended leave by UnitedGetty

Sancho may be frozen out of the Man United squad following his outburstGetty

Meanwhile an internal dispute between Sancho and Erik ten Hag has not been solved, which could see the England international ostracised from the squad to face the Seagulls, live on talkSPORT 2.

It has left the right-wing position vacant and with no obvious outcome from either case arriving anytime soon, Ten Hag will need a reliable option.

Fortunately, the Dutch coach has several answers to this particular puzzle – including one player ready to step up immediately from relative obscurity.

Facundo Pellistri has been given a handful of cameo appearances at United but has never truly been given the chance to shine.

The 21-year-old made just 10 appearances last season but always looked a handful for defenders and developed a penchant for cut-back crosses, that needed a decent poacher to get on the end of.

With Rasmus Hojlund finally in the side, the two youngsters could form a deadly combination with the Uruguayan putting goals on a plate for the striker.

Whether Ten Hag has enough trust in Pellistri remains to be seen, though, having not given him the same opportunities that Alejandro Garnacho has had from the reserves.

The 19-year-old has been tipped for stardom after a breakout campaign last season where he made 34 appearances in all competitions and he could also be utilised on the right-wing.

Ten Hag could give Pellistri more of a chance in the first-team

Pellistri could line up on the right-wing – if Ten Hag trusts him

Or Ten Hag could name an attacking trio of Rashford, Hojlund and Garnacho

That would see a forward three of Marcus Rashford, Hojlund and Garnacho – a frightening attack full of speed and tricks – but just needs goals to become elite.

However, Ten Hag has already a tried and tested method on the right-flank – Bruno Fernandes.

The Portugal international was used out wide eight times last season and proved quite effective – registering four goals and four assists from the right.

And that might even help out one of his summer signings, Mason Mount, who has looked like he has been treading on Fernandes’ toes since arriving.

Fernandes has been used brilliantly on the right-wingGetty

Mount could benefit from changes to the Man United line-upGetty

It has not been an easy start to life at Old Trafford for the 24-year-old, who joined from Chelsea for around £60million.

But with Fernandes out wide, Mount could play in his preferred No.10 role and finally stamp his own mark on the United side.

While the Englishman is currently injured, he is closing in on a return and could be back in action after the international break.

Mount could also start out wide himself, having played the position several times at Chelsea.

However, he has proved more adapt in the middle of the pitch or on the left-hand side, where he can cut in on his right foot.

Nevertheless, the midfielder’s work ethic could prove beneficial to someone like Aaron Wan-Bissaka or Diogo Dalot, who like to get forward from a full-back position.

And that could give Mount the freedom he craves at No. 10

You can hear Manchester United vs Brighton on Saturday, September 16 at 3pm live on talkSPORT 2.

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