Manchester United could hand out squad debut as they try to solve defensive dilemma
The headline news is that Manchester United will be without their two best defenders for the match, with Lisandro Martinez ruled out for the rest of the season and Raphael Varane out for a few weeks.
The obvious solution would be to partner Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof together in the heart of defence, but Erik ten Hag might be tempted to spring a surprise rather than select a second-choice pairing.
Ten Hag has preferred to use a left-footed centre-back where possible, and with Luke Shaw potentially back fit, he might be in line for an auxiliary central role.
United could also spring the surprise of repurposing Scott McTominay or Casemiro in central defence given that they have plenty of cover for them in midfield.
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Martial the matchwinner
He didn’t find the back of the net in midweek, but Anthony Martial still managed to catch the eye with an impressive and well-rounded performance.
The French forward was a constant menace to the Sevilla backline and was at the heart of everything his side did well as he made his return to the team.
With star striker Marcus Rashford set to miss this match, the pressure will be on Martial to lead the line again, and their hopes of a win could well rely on his performance.
No player has scored more match-winning goals in the Premier League this season than Rashford (10), with three of his last four goals deciding matches in the league.
In his absence, they might well need a new matchwinner. Step forward, Martial.
Eriksen made to wait
Christian Eriksen has looked impressive in his two cameo appearances since returning from injury, but it is unclear whether or not he is quite ready to start a game again.
It seems certain that Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes will both keep their places in the heart of the United midfield, with just one place up for grabs in that area of the pitch.
Eriksen would be the obvious fit for such a role when fully fit, but with Marcel Sabitzer in impressive form as of late, the Dane might have to keep waiting before he returns from the start.
Youngsters could be promoted
United had to supplement their bench by calling up Zidane Iqbal and Radek Vitek in midweek, and it could well be that a few other academy youngsters are promoted to the senior set-up this weekend.
The U21s are not in action until Monday night, so there is no reason not to make up for the absence of their senior stars by giving youth a chance.
Marc Juardo, Bjorn Hardley, Dan Gore, Omari Forson, Isak Hansen-Aarøen and Mateo Mejia all trained with the first-team on Friday, so we could well see a senior squad debut today.
Fourth time’s a charm
United have won their last nine games against Nottingham Forest in all competitions, beating them three times this season alone (once in the Premier League, twice in the League Cup).
Only twice before have United beaten a side four times in a season, doing so against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993-94 and Chelsea in 2010-11.
United have barely been troubled across any of those three earlier meetings and will be confident of making it four from four today.
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