Heading into match week 14 of the 2023/24 season, the top sides have established a clear starting eleven and tactical identity. Manchester United, in contrast, grapples with a confused tactical identity, exacerbated by an early-season injury crisis.

Despite Ten Hag’s aim for the team to be the “best transitional side in the world,” their displays have fallen short, with the side repeatedly punished for their lack of control of tempo. This has resulted in a challenging season with poor domestic and European results, though recent successive league wins have kept them in contention for the top four spots.

Uncertainties persist around the starting eleven, with Varane sidelined in favour of Maguire and Lindelof after Martinez’s injury. Concerns have been raised over Casemiro’s form and Dalot’s lacklustre performances open the door for Wan-Bissaka to claim the right-back spot. Similarly, Antony and Rashford’s disappointing form has disrupted their previously untouchable starting positions.

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Some reports have suggested that summer loanee signing Sofyan Amrabat could be replaced in January, however, these reports remain unverified and a move would be challenging given the club’s difficult financial fair-play position.

Sky Sports has also claimed that the Reds have made an official enquiry for RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner, who impressed last season in his return to the Bundesliga but has since fallen out of favour.

Against Galatasaray, United started Onana, Wan-Bissaka, Harry Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw, McTominay, Amrabat, Garnacho, Antony, Hojlund.

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Team News & Injury Reports

Rashford will be available after his European suspension kept him away from the midweek tie in Europe. Mason Mount has returned to training but is not expected to be available for Saturday as he recovers from a calf issue. Christian Eriksen, Casemiro and Martinez all remain sidelined. Tyrell Malacia is not expected to return to the squad until early 2024.

Manchester United Predicted Lineup vs Newcastle United

Onana; Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Shaw; Mainoo, McTominay, Fernandes, Garnacho, Rashford; Hojlund

We have tipped youngster Kobbie Mainoo to start away at St James Park. After his impressive debut at Goodison Park, where he had the most touches per minute for his side and calmly linked play between the defence and midfield, he seems likely to have earned another chance.

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