After kicking off the re-started Premier League season on the road with a 1-1 draw at Tottenham on Friday, Manchester United return to action from the friendly confines of Old Trafford.
United host Sheffield United this Wednesday in a match that could be a make or break match for both sides European aspirations next season.
Currently, United find themselves in fifth place and as of now, that means Champions League qualification next year as a result of Manchester City’s European ban, but that has been appealed, and should that appeal be successful then Man United will be consigned to another season in the Europa League.
United didn’t help their cause drawing with Tottenham, and combine that with Chelsea’s come-from-behind win over Aston Villa on Sunday, leaves United five points adrift of the top four now, which is a significant deficit to make up over the closing stages of the season.
Visitors Sheffield United have just as much of a struggle in front of them if they want to qualify for Europe.
A top-five finish and Champions League football was in their hands heading into that game against Villa, but the controversial “ghost-goal” makes the match against United a must-win, and Wolverhampton Wanderers need to drop points in order to get that fifth spot back.
Sheffield United have only lost back-to-back league matches once this season, away to Manchester City and Liverpool, and would leapfrog Man United in the table with a win on Wednesday night.
It will be interesting to see if Manchester United start the same lineup on Wednesday as they did on Friday. Paul Pogba’s debut in the 64th minute really provided the spark the side needed and wasn’t there all first half.
Facing a trip down to East Anglia to play Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could opt to rotate his side, especially with the likes of Rashford and Scott McTominay still finding their way back to full match fitness after prolonged periods on the sidelines this year.
All eyes are usually on Sheffield United’s on-loan keeper Dean Henderson, who many feel should be Manchester United’s number one keeper next season, especially after another gaffe by David de Gea on Friday. Henderson is ineligible to face his parent club in this match as per the loan agreement between the two teams.
Man Utd possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Pogba, Fred; James, Fernandes, Rashford; Rashford
Sheffield United possible starting lineup:
Moore; Basham, O’Connell, Robinson; Baldock, Berge, Norwood, Lundstram, Stevens; McBurnie, Sharp