Football News

Man Utd v Man City team news: Solskjaer makes controversial changes

By Ben Green

Published: 19:26, 24 April 2019

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has dropped Romelu Lukaku and Anthony Martial from his starting XI for the crucial derby against Manchester City on Wednesday.

Both players started in the diabolical 4-0 thrashing by Everton on Sunday, which prompted Solskjaer to apologise to the United faithful for his side’s performance.

The Manchester Derby team news: Five key things to know…

  1. After capitulating at Goodison Park, Solskjaer stated that his side’s performance was “not worthy of a Manchester United team”.
  2. Gary Neville also vented his frustration in the immediate aftermath, calling the performance “rancid”.
  3. As such Solskjaer has made five changes to his side for the Etihad encounter, as well as a formation change.
  4. For City, Phil Foden drops to the bench after his match-winning performance against Spurs on Saturday.
  5. Elsewhere, Riyad Mahrez loses his starting position in favour of Bernardo Silva.

The Norwegian coach has shuffled the pack for Wednesday night’s blockbuster bout, making five changes, including a new look defensive line-up.

Looking to get numbers behind the ball, Solskjaer has opted for a five-man defence made up of Matteo Darmian, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling, Victor Lindelof and Luke Shaw.

Further forward he has stuck with a three-man midfield, though he has tweaked the personnel, deploying Paul Pogba alongside Fred and Andreas Pereira, while Jesse Lingard will look to support Marcus Rashford in attack.

For Pep Guardiola, he has stuck with his trusted 4-3-3 formation, with Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva looking to provide Sergio Aguero the requisite service to penetrate Solskjaer’s five-man defence.

David Silva, Fernandinho and Ilkay Gundogan will look to hold the fort further behind, while Oleksandr Zinchenko, Vincent Kompany, Aymeric Laporte and Kyle Walker make up the backline, with Ederson between the sticks.

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How fans reacted to Solskjaer’s peculiar changes…

Naturally Liverpool fans haven’t reacted well to news of Solskjaer’s makeshift XI, with many questioning the decision to put Young at centre-back and the general inclusion of Darmian.

Despite the line-up, the Liverpool fans appear to be keeping faith, rallying the United troops in a very bizarre turn of events…

No Aubameyang for Arsenal?

Arsenal travel to Wolves on Wednesday, but will have to do so without Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who misses the match after having a small sinus procedure.

The minor operation has also thrown the striker’s available for the match against Leicester City on Saturday into major doubt.

For the match at Molineux, Unai Emery has reverted to a 4-2-3-1. Bernd Leno starts in goal, with Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Sokratis and Ainsley Maitland-Niles making up the defence.

Further forward Granit Xhaka and Lucas Torreira will function as a double pivot, while Alex Iwobi, Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan will dovetail just behind Alexandre Lacazette, who spearheads the attack.

Wolves have Rui Patricio in goal; Matt Doherty, Ryan Bennett, Conor Coady, Willy Boly and Jonny in defence; Leander Dendoncker, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves locking up the midfield; and Raul Jimenez and Diogo Jota start in attack.