Manchester United is about to do what it did under Jose Mourinho – Samuel Luckhurst


Romero in?If Sergio Romero were to start a Premier League match before David de Gea this season, it would have happened before. The cup specialist is expected to return to the Norwich basement club, but Romero is playing, but he is unlikely to oust De Gea in Brighton on Tuesday.

Romero has kept 11 clean sheets in 14 this season and although his stats are skewed by the fodder of the League Cup and the Europa League, he is primarily responsible for keeping United in FA Cup with this world class save from Matt Doherty at Wolves in the third round.

The Argentinian has 38 shutouts in 58 games with United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to set the pace before returning to the Europa League in August.

More changes?

United had the luxury of resting five of their first six in the final 10 minutes of their drive against Sheffield United and Norwich outside is ripe for rotation. Eric Bailly often starts in a draw, Nemanja Matic, so impressive on Wednesday, could be saved for Brighton and Marcus Rashford’s performance level has been low since his return. Odion Ighalo scored two goals in the fifth round at Derby.

Diogo Dalot was behind Brandon Williams in the pecking order and he could presumably get the green light in the back right. Luke Shaw is the only one to have started all 13 games in the United unbeaten streak.

Getting closer to overtaking Mourinho?

United remained 17 undefeated in all competitions in 2016-17 and the streak was only interrupted in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final in Hull, where they prevailed over all.

Solskjaer has already beaten the start of 11 games he has known as a goalkeeper manager and, with Norwich, Brighton, Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Southampton to come, he should aim to overtake Mourinho.

Penalty preparation key

If the video assistant referee had not canceled Jon Moss at Tottenham, Rashford would have taken United’s penalty for stoppage time. VAR may have saved United from embarrassment due to the penalty palaver at Wolves, where Paul Pogba was inexplicably allowed to strengthen eight days after Rashford’s conversion to Chelsea.

Bruno Fernandes scored three of three over 12 yards for United and at Spurs, United coach Kieran McKenna could be heard screaming “Bruno” as if urged to remove the ball from Rashford.

Tim Krul beat Rashford and Anthony Martial at Carrow Road in October and is in his element during the shootout, as Costa Rica and Tottenham will attest.

Catalytic converter?

The hope was that the double Europa League Cup in 2017 would provide the springboard for United to win more valuable trophies, but the club museum has not had to make room since.

Norwich on the outside is about as desirable as a draw from the last eight cups that United could have hoped for and Carrow Road has doubled as a more neutral place since the restart of the season. Norwich lost at home to Southampton and Everton and a return to the championship is imminent.


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