In the first game after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Michael Carrick will take charge in a very important Champions League clash as they travel to Spain to face Villarreal in a battle for knock-out stage qualification.
This will be Carrick’s first game as a manager, not just Manchester United, meaning he is an unknown quantity after being part of the backroom staff since 2018, but he will have the help of the coaching staff that was also under Solskjaer, including Mike Phealan, Kieran McKenna, Eric Ramsay and Darren Fletcher.
The last game against Villarreal was nothing short of very dramatic, United stole the game with the last kick of the game by Cristiano Ronaldo after a fantastic volley by Alex Telles to start the comeback after Villarreal led through Paco Alcacer.
Man Utd really struggled with the Villarreal wingers at Old Trafford, Diogo Dalot and Telles were the starting full backs and really struggled to contain the likes of former Bournemouth winger Arnaut Danjuma and youngster Yeremi Pino.
With only a short turnover from Saturday’s embarrassing 4-1 loss at Vicarage Road to Watford, Carrick will have only one training session to try and rectify the obvious faults in this Manchester United team in time for a massive Champions League game, but with the time so short he must just try and rotate the squad.
With Luke Shaw going off against Watford with another head injury, Alex Telles will most likely be rotated into the squad, Donny Van De Beek was the standout player against Watford, scoring and controlling the midfield when he came on as a substitute.
It will be interesting if Carrick sticks with the 4-2-3-1 that Solskjaer persisted with throughout his reign, or maybe switch to a 4-3-3, bringing Van De Beek into the squad after his best performance in a United shirt.
Carrick will have address the defensive issues, conceding 4 goals against a relegation threatened Watford is embarrassing and he might look to change up the personnel, maybe dropping Harry Maguire, especially after getting sent off against Watford which halted the momentum of a comeback against Watford.
Man Utd only new injury after Watford is potentially Luke Shaw, after that they will still be without both Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane who both have longer term injuries.
A boost for United is that Villarreal will most likely be without their start player Gerard Moreno, he’s only played seven games this year after picking up a hamstring injury, he scored in the Europa League final last season agianst United, one of his 30 goals last season.