When the fixture list was announced, once Manchester United fans had already found games against Liverpool and Manchester City, and once they’d seen the opening day fixtures and all the other milestones they often look for, they might have been forgiven for thinking that their festive period could have been a time to really build momentum.
After facing Arsenal and City in successive weeks in December, then came the likes of West Brom, Leicester and Burnley around Christmas before facing Southampton and Everton around the new year. It certainly wasn’t supposed to be this difficult.
United haven’t won since mid-December in any competition, and they’ve conceded six goals in their last three games. If the title race wasn’t already over after losing to Pep Guardiola’s cross-city Blues, it surely is now. And with two games to come in just three days, things could easily get worse.
With that in mind, should Jose Mourinho be resting his one in-form attacking player this weekend?
It’s a huge dilemma: United need a ‘quick win’, something to take the pressure off, but they also have two games in quick succession. The first is against a Southampton side who have just conceded five goals and lost their best defender, whilst the second is against an Everton team whose defence is rejuvenated under Sam Allardyce, having kept give clean sheets in the eight matches he’s presided over since taking charge.
Does that mean that Jesse Lingard – Messi Lingard – the man who salvaged a draw with Burnley and provided three goals and an assist in his last three games, should be kept for the Everton game despite only playing 45 minutes on Boxing Day? Or should he be thrust back into the action on Saturday evening while he’s still hot, the fire from his last match? Have your say below….
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