Manchester United go up against Sheffield United on Wednesday night knowing they need all three points. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team has reportedly surfaced ahead of the showdown at Old Trafford. So Express Sport now takes a look at three starters with a point to prove – if the information is to be believed.
For some time now, David De Gea has had questions asked about him.
Gone are the days where the Manchester United star was undroppable, with the 29-year-old enduring a frustrating campaign marred by inconsistency and confidence problems.
De Gea was at fault on Friday as United slipped to a 1-1 draw with Tottenham in north London, allowing Steven Bergwijn’s shot to slip under his body.
He can’t afford to make another error against the Blades this evening as United look to boost their chances of a top four finish.
Because, if he does, then the chances of him keeping his place in goal – both this season and next – would be dealt a severe blow.
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It’s been a frustrating campaign for Paul Pogba, too, with the France international limited to just nine appearances across all competitions.
And he’s another with a big point to prove at Old Trafford tonight.
Pogba offered a glimpse of his brilliant best against Tottenham on Friday, winning the penalty that was later converted by Bruno Fernandes.
On his day, the 2018 World Cup winner ranks as one of the very best midfielders on the planet.
So the onus is now on him to deliver more consistently and he’s another the ‘leaked’ team has claimed will be unleashed from the start.
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Before the ‘leaked’ team came out, there had been whispers that Odion Ighalo would start ahead of Anthony Martial for tonight’s showdown.
But that doesn’t appear to be the case, with Solskjaer primed to stand by the France international.
Martial was abject against Tottenham and was replaced by Ighalo with minutes left on the clock.
He’s had his moments this season but the Frenchman knows he must achieve consistency or face an upgrade being signed in the summer.
Martial had four goals from six games before the coronavirus crisis – so he’ll be hoping to stand up and deliver against the Blades.
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Solskjaer feels United have made significant strides under his leadership and, speaking before the Sheffield United clash, expressed a belief his side weren’t too far away from being title challengers.
“[Manchester City and Liverpool the last couple of seasons have put the standard where it should be to win the league,” he said.
“We’ve developed over the season and had a spell of 11 unbeaten. [Then we] added Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford to that and are thinking: ‘Yeah, we’re not too far away.’
“I’m very happy with the squad. If there are any good deals to be made, players to make us better, of course we might have to spend some money. But the squad is great to work with and it’s moving in the right direction.
“We’re still not where we want to be, close enough to challenge for the Premier League trophy, but we take one step at a time. Hopefully we can challenge for the Europa League and FA Cup this season and the top four. Then, let’s see how much we can invest for next season.
“We’re getting closer and closer to the team we want to be and in the next eight [league] games we want to dominate and be tested.
“We’ve only conceded three goals in the last 12 games and are getting better and better as a team – well organised, hard to break down and we’ve always got quality to go and score goals.”
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