Man Utd predicted XI vs Nottingham Forest gallery - two changes for Carabao Cup semi-final
Manchester United travel to the City Ground for Wednesday’s semi-final first leg.
Erik ten Hag will have to think about keeping his squad fresh and well rested over the coming weeks, with such a busy fixture schedule for Manchester United.
The Red Devils play eight matches in January, the same number as next month, although the clash with Leeds United on 8 February could be moved still. Ten Hag also has several players in need of game time, mainly captain Harry Maguire, as well as Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay and Fred.
The United boss may look at Wednesday’s Carabao Cup first leg against Nottingham Forest as a chance to rest some key players, although Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Reading seems like a more likely opportunity to give certain players a night off. Indeed, Forest’s recent upturn in form may encourage Ten Hag to select his strongest starting XI against Steve Cooper’s side.
That would mean David de Gea in nets, although United have selected back-up goalkeepers so far in the competition. Tom Heaton played in the win over Charlton Athletic, while Jack Butland could be handed his debut for the club.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka remains the only real option at right-back due to Diogo Dalot’s injury, while Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia will compete for a starting berth on the opposite flank. At the heart of defence, it is likely to be two of Raphael Varane, Lisandro Martinez, Lindelof and Maguire, although Shaw is also a possibility.
Casemiro returns in midfield having missed Sunday’s loss at the Emirates, with Christian Eriksen expected to partner him, while Bruno Fernandes should play in a more advanced role. McTominay and Fred could also play if Ten Hag opts to rotate his squad.
Two of Marcus Rashford, Antony and Alejandro Garnacho are likely to start in the wide areas, with Anthony Elanga offering an alternative. The young Swede played up front in the quarter-final win over Charlton, but January loan signing Wout Weghorst will most probably play in that role against Forest. Here’s how we expect United to line up…