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Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have to go back on his word at Manchester United

Will Solskjaer name an unchanged team?

United have embarked on a run of five games in two weeks so it will be interesting to see whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels the need to make any changes after such an impressive performance against Cardiff on Saturday.


"For me as a manager now it’s great because you have to rotate so you get to see many players," he told MUTV in his first interview las interim manager last week.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

"You’ll get the chance and everyone in the squad knows that they’ve got a chance now because whatever’s happened has happened. Everyone starts with a clean slate and we want players to perform and given a chance."

Solskjaer constantly tinkered during his time in South Wales in 2014 but he has already found a winning formula at United so you wonder whether he will go back on his word and name an unchanged team.

It promises to be a special moment when Solskjaer walks out to 'This is the One' and takes his seat in the home dugout for the first time as United's interim manager.

The '20LEGEND' banner will be back in the Stretford End and United fans have a host of chants to serenade their treble hero, including a fresh take on Mourinho favourite 'I'm Into Something Good'.

United have won just five home games in all competitions so far this season so Solskjaer will be keen on keeping his emotions in check and ensuring his side turn Old Trafford into a fortress again.

Another chance to run riot

Huddersfield have lost their last five games and are currently four points from safety at the foot of the table. United will not have a more straightforward task provided they build on that performance in Cardiff.

As well as looking more solid, defensively, on Saturday, United looked like scoring every time they got into the opposition half: Victor Lindelof brought the ball out, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young pushed high up the field, Paul Pogba pulled the strings and Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial caused havoc up front.

Solskjaer will really fancy his chances of going on a run in the coming weeks and closing that gap on the top four if United win comfortably again.

Will any kids made the squad?

One of the reasons why Mourinho was sacked at United was because club chiefs were concerned about the development of youngsters. Solskjaer already appears to be addressing that after taking James Garner and Angel Gomes on the flight to Cardiff.

It seems more likely United youngsters will get game time in the FA Cup clash against Reading next month but Solskjaer is keen on keeping them in and around the squad.

A fearsome front line

One of the noticeable tactical changes Solskjaer has quickly made with United's front line is allowing them to rotate and roam at will; Lingard was pencilled in on the right wing against Cardiff, but his average position was much more central and it worked.

For the first time since September, 2017, Lingard, Rashford and Martial all scored in a game and United's third goal in the 5-1 win against Cardiff showed how devastating the trio can be when they are all on the same page.

Huddersfield's leaky defence will not be looking forward to that prospect.

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