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Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane decisions made as Rio Ferdinand chooses Manchester United XI to face Brentford

Rio Ferdinand chooses Manchester United XI to face Brentford
Rio Ferdinand chooses Manchester United XI to face Brentford
Snehanjan Banerjee

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has named his starting XI for the Red Devils on their trip to Brentford this weekend.

Erik ten Hag will be looking to secure his first victory as Manchester United manager when his side take on Thomas Frank's Brentford on Saturday. The Red Devils started their season with a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford.

Pascal Gross scored twice for the Seagulls in the first-half, while Alexis Mac Allister's own goal in the 68th minute gave Manchester United hope of a comeback. However, Ten Hag's boys could not find an equalizer and will be under all kinds of pressure on Saturday against the Bees.

Brentford did exceptionally well to turn around a 2-0 deficit against Leicester City on Sunday and salvage a draw.

Rio Ferdinand has advised Erik ten Hag to make several changes to his starting XI against Brentford on Saturday.

In his preferred XI, Ferdinand picked Cristiano Ronaldo in the number nine role with Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford on the flanks.

Cristiano Ronaldo & Raphael Varane on the #MUFC bench… #MUNBHA https://t.co/vUcoEDzIDX

The former Red Devils defender made an interesting pick in midfield as he named Lisandro Martinez as the number six with Bruno Fernandes and Christian Eriksen as central midfielders.

Ferdinand has also picked Raphael Varane at the heart of his backline, alongside skipper Harry Maguire.

Speaking on his YouTube channel 'Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE', he said:

“I’d start Ronaldo upfront. I’d start [Marcus] Rashford on the left, [Jadon] Sancho on the right, or vice-versa."
“I’d play [Christian] Eriksen, Bruno [Fernandes] and Martinez as the holding midfielder – take Fred out."
“I’m going to play [Diogo] Dalot, [Raphael] Varane, [Harry] Maguire and [Luke] Shaw at left-back. [David] De Gea in goal.”
“Whatever happens, Man United are going to improve from the first day. Things can only get better.”

Would Manchester United be wise to play Lisandro Martinez in midfield?

Lisandro Martinez' game by numbers vs. Brighton:100% dribbles completed93% pass accuracy7 long passes completed4 clearances3 shots2/3 tackles won2 interceptions2 blocksWill get better and better in the Premier League. https://t.co/PpWV4uVuM9

It is quite evident that Manchester United's biggest problem lies in their midfield, as they were utterly dominated by Brighton in that department.

Lisandro Martinez playing as a defensive midfielder could prove to be a decent solution thanks to the Argentine's composure and excellent passing range.

The new signing from Ajax found it difficult to cope with Brighton aerially, but playing in midfield would mean his lack of height wouldn't be exploited as much.

Martinez has played as a number six earlier in his career, and it wouldn't be a surprise if Ten Hag chose to use him in that role once again.


Paul Merson predicts Arsenal vs Liverpool and other EPL GW 10 fixtures! Click here

Edited by Yasho Amonkar

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