Manchester United have a real chance of moving up the table this weekend with Liverpool only one point ahead of them and they are playing Spurs. But United fans will be cautious as their team this season has failed to capitalize on the failings of their opponents. The defeat against Watford earlier in the season would still be fresh in Mourinho’s memories as Watford dismantled United clinically at the Vicarage Road.
In the previous game against Leicester City, Mourinho changed the formation from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 midway and this turned the game in United’s favour. Henrikh Mkhitaryan was outstanding in the number 10 role and his pace and intelligence left Leicester’s defence shocked. For all his goals, Zlatan’s age and therefore the lack of pace inhibits United’s attack in many ways. He is not very effective in leading the line nor is he lethal on the counter. Playing Mkhitaryan behind him negates Zlatan’s vulnerabilities as they can switch position midway and Mkhitaryan’s pace will push the defence back allowing Zlatan the space and time to play. This of course throws up another problem for Mourinho, Where will Pogba play? It was clear earlier in the season that Pogba is better off in a 4-3-3 than in a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 but Mourinho needs the Frenchman to adjust to his new role for the sake of the team.