Bristol City vs Manchester United Preview

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So the Carabao Cup defence continues, this time at Bristol City's humble abode of Ashton Gate stadium. We move on to this second consecutive away game after a tough draw against West Brom. Lukaku and Lingard scored, but a dodgy West Brom goal saw the game remain tight till the end.

I see plenty of fans moaning and quantifying every tiny flaw, but these are the games that we drew and dropped points at, last season. We are progressing slowly, but steadily. Besides, our team's core is still very young and most of them are yet to peak. Patience and time are fundamental ingredients for creating a dynasty that most journalists are absurdly crediting Pep for.

Manchester United is a club that has built its foundation of success on heaps and heaps of failure and disappointment. One team turning up after spending billions, is no reason to panic. Jose Mourinho beat Pep's 2011 Barcelona squad, who by popular opinion are one of the best teams in world football, to the title.

Moving on, Manchester United last played Bristol City in 1980, which saw us grab a 4-0 win. I feel that due to the previous games being so long ago, they become irrelevant. However, Bristol City are a very good side at their own level. They are third in the Championship and might very well be a Premier League team next season.

Bristol are on a four game winning streak and are going to be no pushovers. However, we do need to rest our key players as we face a resilient Leicester City (again away) on Saturday. So I have come up with a formation that will suit both games. 
 I am going to change most of the back-line and bring in the likes of Tuanzebe and Darmian in. I want to see Rojo in the team because I don't want him starting against Leicester. Maybe even play Blind at centre back and see how he fares. The midfield is going to be highly revamped as well because Fellaini has been ruled out during the hectic festive period.

Pogba and McTominay need to start for sure. Pogba makes his comeback tomorrow after suspension and minutes against a relatively easier side will do him good. McTominay is a bright prospect and needs to get as much game-time as he can get, in order to develop. Mentioning for the umpteenth time that this was the perfect game for Andreas Periera. Anyway, Matic has to be rested, no debate about that. He has been playing with a niggle and we can not lose him at this point in the season like we have lost Valencia. If it were down to me, I wouldn't even tell him to travel to Bristol.

In my opinion, this is the perfect game to bench Lukaku and bring Mkhitaryan back in. I didn't want him to be benched for the Premier League games so as to help build his confidence, so this seems like a nice opportunity. He has played 90 mins in all games for United this season and we need him fit to bully Morgan and Maguire on Boxing Day. So my lineup for the game against Bristol City would be: 

Predicted 11: Romero; Tuanzebe, Blind, Lindelof; Darmian, Herrera, Pogba, McTominay, Shaw; Mkhitaryan, Rashford.

Score prediction: 2-0 United win. (Mkhitaryan and Pogba)


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