Saturday’s clash with the La Liga side is a huge opportunity for these players to stake their claim for a start when Man United’s season resumes.
Manchester United have plenty to work on this evening as they take on Real Betis in their last friendly match during their winter tour of Spain.
Wednesday’s defeat to Cadiz left Erik ten Hag with more negatives than positives and while those who have come in from the U23s can be excused for the defeat, those who are in and around the first team will be wanting to show a reaction in Seville. At the time of writing, this will be the Reds’ last match before they face Burnley in the Carabao Cup in less than two weeks’ time.
That fixture with Vincent Kompany’s team could be a springboard into the first team on a regular basis with Ten Hag expected to rest a number of players who starred at the World Cup. But to get into that XI, these four players need to show an improvement against their La Liga opposition today.
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Before the World Cup, Lindelof was looking comfortable as United’s third-choice centre-back with Harry Maguire completely out of the picture. However, the captain’s performances in Qatar have shocked many and the Englishman is now putting in a strong claim for regular football upon his return.
With that in mind, Lindelof will be hoping to remind Ten Hag of his capabilities. Alongside Teden Mengi, the Swede will be expected to be a leader at the back, a duty which is somewhat unfamiliar to him.
Donny van de Beek
Van de Beek was once again anonymous on Wednesday night during the defeat to Cadiz. A departure from Old Trafford is becoming more inevitable with each passing game.
Should he be given another chance against Real Betis, he needs to really take the opportunity. With United’s options in midfield still limited to an extent, the Dutchman has a window to prove his worth before the January transfer window opens.
United’s Scottish midfielder seems to be best placed to replace Casemiro or Christian Eriksen should either man need a rest post-World Cup. McTominay’s performances earlier in the season kept the club’s new signing from Real Madrid on the bench for a while.
Since then, the Brazilian has managed to earn a spot in the team and the emphasis is now on McTominay to earn that place back. A good performance against Real Betis will go some way to doing that.
Following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure, there are even fewer options in the forward line. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are currently the closest players to being undroppable in that front three which leaves one space left.
Antony and Alejandro Garnacho are perhaps the favourites to complete that attack but Elanga could push them close if he can channel the form from Ralf Rangnick’s tenure. It will be difficult for the Swede but a solid performance against Real Betis could really help his case.