Lukaku and Sanchez started, Rashford and Martial on the bench – Manchester United’s last line-up against West Brom shows how much Solskjaer has ......
Nov. 20, 2020
When Manchester United face West Brom – live on talkSPORT – this weekend it will be two years and seven months since they last played a Premier League game against each other.
It ended in a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford for the Red Devils, then under Jose Mourinho, and saw the 2017/18 title awarded to Manchester City.
A lot has changed since then – the world is most certainly a very different place, that’s for sure – and at United there has definitely been an overhaul.
The manager is now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer , and the heat is on after a tumultuous start to the season.
At least Jay Rodriguez, the man who condemned United to the 2018 loss, isn’t playing for Slaven Bilic’s side anymore.
But the Croatian’s strugglers did almost keep out high-flying free-scoring Tottenham Hotspur last time out , so they are no mugs.
Paul Pogba is still knocking around for United, although what capacity he’ll be used in remains to be seen.
The Frenchman is now out of favour under his Norwegian gaffer with Fred and Scott McTominay seemingly the preferred midfield duo behind creator-in-chief Bruno Fernandes.
He’s one a small few who still remain at the club and haven’t moved on since that defeat to West Brom, although he may not be with them for too much longer at this rate.
So, just how much has changed under Solskjaer? talkSPORT.com have taken a look.
Manchester United XI v West Brom (April 15, 2018)
As you can see, only five of the starting players are still on the books at United, while currently, only David De Gea and Victor Lindelof are surefire starters with Pogba in the doghouse.
Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic are on the fringes but no longer figure prominently.
The substitutes bench against the Baggies is a slightly different story, with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford both entering the fray, along with Jesse Lingard.
Unused were Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, and McTominay, while the backup goalkeeper was Joel Castro Pereira.
The defence has certainly had an overhaul since then with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka now in. Luke Shaw was at the club in 2018 but didn’t make the squad against West Brom.
Ander Herrera left for Paris Saint-Germain allowing McTominay to progress into the first-team, and Fred has won over some detractors while taking a regular place in the team in recent weeks.
Fernandes, of course, is the key new signing, while more trust has been place in Martial and Rashford with the forward line getting a change up – Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku both left for Inter Milan.
Manchester United XI v Everton (November 7, 2020)
But can this new-look United avoid defeat against West Brom?
Solskjaer will be hoping so or another big change may be on the cards – and he might well be at the centre of it.
You can hear Manchester United v West Brom live and exclusively on talkSPORT at 8pm on Saturday, November 21
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