Manchester United, despite somehow remaining in sixth place, are well-placed in the race for the top four with several teams around them to face each other in the coming weeks.
They’ve seemingly found a winning formula that is not as reliant on the goals of Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial chipping in with some important strikes.
Their 2-0 home win over Watford on Saturday was their final Premier League game of the month as the Reds prepare to do battle on three fronts with the League Cup final the pick of the upcoming matches.
Jose Mourinho will have to call upon several players on the fringe as his side’s schedule gets even more packed. However, of all the top sides, United arguably possess the greatest strength in depth.
If the following is his strongest side, or at least his preferred eleven, he still has an impressive choice from the bench.
This second string team is more than capable of thriving both in cup competitions and in the league.
The most admirable element of the lineup is the experience it boasts. It contains a World Cup winner, England and United’s leading ever goalscorer, a man with over 400 appearances for the club and a first-choice goalkeeper for the world’s fourth-ranked international team.
The exuberance of youth is also unquestionably present as Marcus Rashford, one of the most highly-thought-of young players anywhere in the world and Luke Shaw, once the game’s most expensive teenager, both feature. Timothy Fosu-Mensah, a young man that some would argue is as talented as Manchester native Rashford, also starts, albeit at right-back, rather than his preferred spot in midfield.
While Ashley Young sticks out as a major weakness in the side, if this team were to be assembled next season, the returning Andreas Pereira or Adnan Januzaj would usurp him.
Mourinho has been reluctant to rotate this term but will have no choice but to in the coming weeks. The talent behind his first team means he’ll still be able to call upon a very capable team.
Rory Murphy, Pundit Arena