Talking Tactics: Picking The Best Attacking Line To Face Tottenham Hotspur

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Manchester United play a pivotal Premier League match this Saturday, as they will take on Tottenham Hotspur looking to put behind the inconsistencies they have shown after the international break.

The Red Devils defeated Benfica in the UEFA Champions League and Swansea City in the Carabao Cup over the past two weeks. However, their Premier League form has left a lot to be desired following a scoreless draw against Liverpool and a surprising 1-2 defeat against Huddersfield last week. Therefore, Jose Mourinho must field the Best XI available for this game against Tottenham. The Spurs are one of the top teams in the EPL, and seem to be getting hot at the right time.

We can have an idea of how United will lineup for this game. We know David De Gea will slot between the posts. And the back-four should feature Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, and Ashley Young. Essentially that has been the defensive line that has give United the best results, although Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian have looked decent on the left-back role when given the chance.

Due to the (likely) absences of Paul Pogba, Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick, there are not many options for the CM pairing. Barring an unexpected change, it’s safe to say Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic once again will pair together in the middle of the pitch. And Henrikh Mkhitaryan will operate on a more advanced position in a typical “N°10” role.

What About The Attacking Line?

Arguably, Mourinho’s biggest doubts should come on the attacking line. Romelu Lukaku will definitively start on the striker role, as the Belgian has enjoyed a great start to the season. But the winger roles are yet to be determined. There are four alternatives, and each comes with pros and cons.

The alternatives are Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata, and Jesse Lingard. If we look at the stats, then Martial and Rashford have been the most productive of the foursome by far. The French has contributed with five goals and six assists in 13 appearances across all competitions, while Rashford has seven goals and five helpers in 15 games this season. Mata, on the other hand, only has one goal, while Lingard is coming off a two-goal performance vs Swansea on Tuesday’s Carabao Cup match.

The smart money would be to start Rashford on the right and Martial on the left. And not only because they have been the most productive, but also because they seem to be the ones that play better alongside Lukaku. Mata can operate as a more creative threat off the bench, while Lingard’s pace can be quite a weapon for the second half if things get tough.

Mourinho has the final call, though. But one thing is certain. United have enough attacking depth to compete with any team in the league. Now it’s a metter of getting back in sync as it was earlier in the season.

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