After Sunday’s disastrous showing, plenty of players should be dropped. However, there simply aren’t quality replacements available from the squad so most will get the chance to put that absolute horror of a performance in the past. Sabitzer is out, according to Ten Hag and, as ever, Martial is off finding himself or whatever he does on his endless days off. Weghorst cannot start. It was fun pretending he was good enough for United, but huff and puff can’t only mask his lack of quality for so long.
At the back, the one major change is that Wan-Bissaka comes in for Dalot. Dalot and Wan-Bissaka have been on different trajectories since the World Cup. One improved and the other reverted to his form of seasons past. Maybe Dalot will come good again but, on current form, he doesn’t deserve to start. It wouldn’t surprise anyone to see Lindelof or Maguire (or both) come in for Varane but Martinez is likely to start. Shaw, who was atrocious at the weekend, is lucky to keep his place and could be replaced by Malacia.
With Sabitzer out, there aren’t many options to change the midfield. It’s likely to remain the usual three of Casemiro, Fred and Fernandes. McTominay for Fred is one possible swap. Fernandes will probably be captain again, unless Maguire comes in for Varane, despite his complete loss of composure and professionalism against Liverpool.
Upfront, Weghorst can’t start and Antony will be lucky if he does. Sancho could come in for the Brazilian with Rashford up top and Garnacho out wide.
The starting eleven all depends on whether Ten Hag wants to punish players or give them a shot at redemption.
Predicted Score: 2-0
No drama, please. A straightforward win to settle our nerves. Not two early comedy goals conceded then clawing our way back to a draw.