Manchester United are coming off what’s arguably their biggest win of the 2018-19 season so far. Despite not having Romelu Lukaku, The Red Devils stunned the world with a huge 2-1 away win at Juventus on Wednesday. Thus, now Jose Mourinho’s men took a gigantic step towards reaching the knockout stages of the 2018-19 UEFA Champions League.
However, the team needs to turn the page quickly because they still have one more Premier League match left before the international break… and it is one of the most important fixtures in the calendar since they will travel to Etihad Stadium to take on Manchester City. Therefore, the question should be one, and one only. How can they keep momentum following Wednesday’s win at Juventus? It is one thing to win in Europe, but another completely different one is to do it in the Premier League.
Here are three ways how The Red Devils can achieve that, and potentially pull the upset against the Citizens.
Maintain the defensive line
Victor Lindelof has been heavily criticised, but he delivered an impressive display on Wednesday and has been taking advantage of the increase on his playing time. Luke Shaw has looked solid all year long, and Chris Smalling has also seen an uptick on form recently. At least right now, this is the best defensive unit Manchester United can field. These three, along with David De Gea between the posts and Ashley Young at right-back, should start once again at Manchester City.
Start Juan Mata
Speaking of starts, Juan Mata definitively deserves more playing time. The Spaniard was decisive against Juventus and has been playing at a very high level of late. He might fit better as an alternative coming off the bench. However, his performance on Wednesday should boost him up considerably. Thus, he deserves a role in the starting XI on Sunday. Either as a right winger or as an attacking midfield. But he needs to be among the XI at the Etihad Stadium.
Keep Alexis Sanchez as centre forward
Critics could say that United turned things around when Alexis was not on the pitch. They could also say he is not strong enough to be a striker. That he fits better on a winger role. All of those things are true. But if you watch the game tape closely, Sanchez was one of the most hard-working players on United when things got tougher. The Chilean only has one assist in two games since returning to the starting XI, but his work rate has improved massively. And with Lukaku potentially out once again, the Chilean seems to be the best bet to play as striker. His mobility could pose problems to the opposing defensive line.