‘Mischievous’ Attacker Gets Rare Start: Manchester United Predicted Lineup vs Real Betis

Manchester United Predicted Lineup

Manchester United will travel to Spain to face La Liga side Real Betis in the second leg of their Europa League round of 16 tie on Thursday, March 16. Last Word on Sports tries to put together a Manchester United predicted lineup as the Red Devils aim to book a place in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Manchester United Predicted Lineup vs Real Betis

How Manchester United Have Lined-up Recently

Erik ten Hag has been pretty firm with picking a particular set of players for almost all of United’s games this season. That includes a back-five that has largely been dominated by the presence of David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez and Luke Shaw. In midfield, Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes have become indispensable – while Fred has slotted in well for the injured Christian Eriksen.

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Marcus Rashford is undroppable after scoring 26 goals already this season, more than he’s managed in any previous campaign. Wout Weghorst has slotted in for the injury-prone Anthony Martial, while summer signing Antony has performed well in Europa League games. However, expect multiple changes for this game because of the lead United have from the last leg. Antony hasn’t been named in the travelling squad, so he’s going to be replaced – while the likes of Shaw, Varane, and Weghorst can also expect to get some rest.

Manchester United Recent Form and Tactics

Apart from the horrible 7-0 loss to Liverpool, United have been in decent form over the last month. In their last 10 games across all competitions, the Red Devils have won six games and played out three draws – also winning the Carabao Cup in the process.

Irrespective of whatever kind of team he fields, Ten Hag will look to implement his philosophy of encouraging attacking football for his side against Real Betis. He will seemingly stick with the trusted 4-3-3 formation and aim for his side to build up from the back and then be quick in getting into the final third.

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That means a lot of responsibility will be placed on the wingers to burst forward in the transitions and set up major chances. Jadon Sancho and Facundo Pellistri – who was praised for having a “mischievous nature” in his playing style by Edinson Cavani a few years ago – are likely to get a chance to impress in Spain. 

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Bruno Fernandes, of course, is United’s leader and creator-in-chief. That means he’ll need to assume major creative responsibility in setting things up and getting his delivery right into the final third. Casemiro, now suspended for the next four games after his red card against Southampton, will be gunning to dominate Betis in this one. He’ll aim to use his ball-winning ability and clever forward passes to help his side dominate midfield – while Fred is given license to be a nuisance for the opposition side with his energetic pressing.

The La Liga side look set to come out all-guns-blazing because they have nothing to lose. That means United need to be fully focused and defensively sturdy in this game. Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez are likely to partner up for this and they’ll need to communicate well to maintain a tight backline, not giving the hosts any room to manoeuvre. Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Tyrell Malacia will be expected to provide attacking support – but need to maintain concentration to cut out Betis’ attacks from the wings.

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United just need to see out the storm and get a decent result to move into the Europa League last-eight. A draw won’t be the worst result, but knowing Ten Hag, he’ll urge them to put Betis to the sword with their blistering attacking capabilities and seal the win as early as possible in the second leg.

Manchester United Injuries to Consider

Alejandro Garnacho has been ruled out for at least the next few games after sustaining an injury in the draw to Southampton at the weekend. Antony is suffering from an illness, which means he’s out for this one. Anthony Martial is yet to fully recover from his knock. Eriksen is still out with a long-term injury, as is Donny van de Beek.

Manchester United Predicted Lineup

David de Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Facundo Pellistri, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford