Date: 16th September 2021 at 6:05pm
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Cristiano Ronaldo’s fairytale return to Manchester United continued on Tuesday, albeit briefly, as the Red Devils fell to a shock defeat in the Champions League.

The Portuguese had given United the lead against Young Boys, before Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off for a late challenge towards the end of the first half.

That moment swung the momentum of the game, and United conceded in the second half before a 95th minute winner gave the hosts all three points.

Now, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side return to Premier League action against West Ham United at the London Stadium, and the Norwegian will have plenty to think about ahead of the game.

Below, we predict the XI that Solskjaer may opt for against a West Ham side that have been impressive so far this season.

Goalkeeper

David de Gea will continue between the sticks having played every minute so far this term. The Spaniard is likely to be the club’s number one for the majority of this season after improving in recent months, and Dean Henderson remains sidelined.

Tom Heaton will settle for a place on the bench.

Defence

At the back, Aaron Wan-Bissaka will once again start despite his sending off in Europe in midweek. The Englishman has been solid ever since arriving from Crystal Palace two years ago. Diogo Dalot, who came on after the sending off in Switzerland, will once again be on the bench but may have to start United’s next Champions League game.

Varane couldn’t prevent United from falling to defeat to Young Boys on Tuesday

At the heart of defence, Harry Maguire and Rapheal Varane will continue their partnership. The Frenchman was rested against Young Boys, with Victor Lindelof starting instead, but the World Cup winner was substituted on in the wake of Wan-Bissaka’s red card.

Eric Bailly will sit alongside Lindelof on the bench.

At left-back, Luke Shaw will once again start and will be looking to continue his strong form that has seen him return to being both England and United’s first choice in the position.

Alex Telles remains sidelined through injury.

Midfield

Solskjaer reverted to a more defensive system in midweek, with Pogba pushed outside to allow two deeper-lying midfielders to be deployed in the shape of Fred and Donny van de Beek.

For the Hammers game, Paul Pogba will likely return to the midfield pairing, with Fred the most likely candidate to partner him.

Van de Beek, whose rare start in midweek lasted only 45 minutes, and Nemanja Matic will have to settle for places on the bench.

In the advanced midfield role, Bruno Fernandes will once again start. The Portuguese international provided a sensational assist for fellow countryman Ronaldo to score the opener in Switzerland.

Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo are both in line to start against West Ham on Sunday

Forwards

Up front, Cristiano Ronaldo will lead the line hoping to add to his tally of three goals in his first two matches since returning to the club.

The five-time Ballon d’or winner will have his sights set on the golden boot this season and West Ham, who conceded twice in their last home game, provide an opportunity to get on the score sheet once again.

Anthony Martial will be on the bench, while Edinson Cavani’s fitness means he may struggle to be involved at all.

Next to Ronaldo, Mason Greenwood should return to the starting line up having sat out the European defeat.

The youngster scored in each of the club’s first three games this season, and it was his fumbled shot that gifted Ronaldo his first goal a week ago.

Marcus Rashford remains out for another month at least, meaning that Jadon Sancho  will be given another chance to announce himself to the United faithful.

The former Borussia Dortmund man has struggled to impose himself since arriving in Manchester, and is yet to register a goal or assist.

With such an array of talent, particularly in attack, at Solskjaer’s disposal, the Norwegian will undoubtedly face a number of selection headaches ahead of the trip to East London.

With the Hammers having scored ten goals already this season, the Red Devils’ defence will also have to be on top form to keep the likes of Michail Antonio and Said Benrahma at bay.

 
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