Man Utd team news vs Chelsea as injury crisis forces Erik ten Hag’s hand

Man Utd team news vs Chelsea as injury crisis forces Erik ten Hag's hand

manager is once again down to the bare bones in defence after new setbacks for Victor Lindelof and . The Red Devils have just enough options to piece together a makeshift back line against at Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening, as Express Sport takes you through Ten Hag’s likely XI…

Man Utd’s predicted XI (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Onana

Third-choice stopper Tom Heaton was on the bench for the 1-1 draw at Brentford last time out, and back-up option Altay Bayindir remains doubtful for the Chelsea game.

Even so, Andre Onana is the undisputed number one for Ten Hag, and the Cameroon international’s calamitous start to life at Old Trafford is now long forgotten after several months of impressive individual form.

Defence: Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Wan-Bissaka

Injuries to Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia will once again force Ten Hag to play a right-back on the left. Aaron Wan-Bissaka has stepped up to feature on his weaker side of late, freeing up Diogo Dalot to bomb down his favoured flank.

In central defence, Martinez (calf) and Lindelof (hamstring) are out for at least a month, while Jonny Evans and Raphael Varane are both doubts. The sheer lack of options could force Ten Hag to field Varane, even if he is not quite 100 per cent, alongside Harry Maguire, providing the Frenchman comes through a late fitness test.

Defensive midfield: McTominay, Mainoo

Teenager Kobbie Mainoo is practically the first name on United’s team sheet, and his sparkling form is set to bank him an 18th consecutive start on Thursday. Mason Mount and Casemiro will both be pushing for minutes at the base of midfield, but Scott McTominay is more likely to get the nod.

Attacking midfield: Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford

Captain Bruno Fernandes is another ‘undroppable’ for Ten Hag, and neither Marcus Rashford nor Alejandro Garnacho should fear for their place in the side. Antony’s poor form does not merit a start, and Amad Diallo is set to take up a spot on the bench upon returning from suspension at Stamford Bridge.

Striker: Hojlund

A muscle injury and the international break came at the worst possible time for Rasmus Hojlund, who was on a run of eight goals in as many games before being forced to the sidelines.

The Dane has made two appearances since his return, drawing a blank against Liverpool in the FA Cup and at Brentford last weekend. Even so, Hojlund has proved with 13 goals in all competitions that he is worthy of the starting berth up top.