It is a sign of how poor Manchester United have been this season that only five Red Devils players make our combined XI with Newcastle United. Despite finishing above the Magpies last season and enjoying an active summer transfer window, Erik ten Hag‘s men are performing well below expectations and come into Wednesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Newcastle with three losses from their last six games.
Goalkeeper – Pope
Nick Pope starts between the sticks for the combined XI ahead of Andre Onana. Pope recorded the third most clean sheets in England’s top flight last season and is joint second this campaign. Onana, on the other hand, has got off to a shaky start to life at Old Trafford and has already conceded 16 goals in 10 Premier League games.
Defence – Trippier, Varane, Martinez, Shaw
Luke Shaw starts on the left while Rafael Varane and Lisandro Martinez narrowly edge Sven Botman for a starting place. United have looked vulnerable at the back without all three as of late and will want them all to return to fitness as quickly as possible. Kieran Trippier is the only Newcastle player to make the combined backline, slotting in at right back unchallenged.
Midfield – Guimaraes, Fernandes, Joelinton
Bruno Fernandes is the only United player that makes it in midfield. Sofyan Amrabat hasn’t made much of an impact since joining in the summer while Casemiro has looked like a shadow of his former self this season.
Brazilian stars Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton have excelled together at the heart of Newcastle’s midfield over the last couple of seasons and make our combined XI in the centre of the park. Joelinton is among the top percentile for passes completed and interceptions while Guimaraes comes out near the top for successful take-ons and shot-creating actions.
Attack – Almiron, Isak, Rashford
Rasmus Hojlund has shown he has bags of potential but has yet to find his shooting boots for United. Alexander Isak, on the other hand, couldn’t stop scoring before he picked up another long-term injury. The Swede has already bagged six goals in seven Premier League appearances and is among the best forwards in the division when fit.
He starts with Miguel Almiron on his right and Marcus Rashford to his left. Both wingers have an eye for goal and can change games in an instant – although Rashford hasn’t been up to his lofty standard so far this season.