4-4-2 diamond: Unleashing Pogba the key to silencing the Seagulls

Manchester United need to get off the mark in the Premier League tomorrow but face a tricky away fixture against Brighton.

The Reds suffered a humiliating 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace in their opening fixture last weekend but managed a win and got more game time under their belts against Luton in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday evening.

The defence, with Dean Henderson in goal and Eric Bailly alongside Harry Maguire in the centre-back positions, looked a lot more solid than the De Gea – Lindelof – Maguire triad that let three in against Palace.

Based on his comments at this morning’s press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have seen enough there to stick with Bailly alongside Maguire, but we think that he will keep faith once again in David de Gea in goal and that Dean Henderson will drop back to the bench.

Last week for the Palace match we predicted a formation change further up the field to accommodate new signing Donny van de Beek. That did not happen due to the fact that Solskjaer was forced to shuffle his side due to some players not being match fit. However, now that everyone has a game under their belt, it could be time to introduce a diamond 4-4-2 that will allow the manager to put Van de Beek in the starting lineup without sacrificing the defensive expertise of Nemanja Matic.

The new formation will also allow Paul Pogba to push further forward and further left, which will be a welcome change as he has struggled to impose himself from the deep right role he has occupied of late.

This would mean one of the front three would have to drop to the bench, with Mason Greenwood the most likely candidate. That is probably the least deserved on recent form, but the manager prefers not to overplay the teenager and so may choose to use him as an impact substitute.

This would leave Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to operate as twin strikers.

This puts a lot of pressure on full-backs Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka to push forward and create the width and crosses necessary for the formation to work.

Here, then, is our predicted line-up:

Manchester United’s new star Donny van de Beek will be the 13th Dutch national to play for the senior side. But how much do you know about the other 12? Take our quiz below to find out.