Manchester United have let in 11 goals in just three Premier League games so far with the defence looking nothing like the unit that achieved the third-best record last season.
Two center-back pairings have already been tried but with no improvement in defending. Individual errors combined with collective mistakes have resulted in goals flying past De Gea. Losing the midfield battle has also left the defence more exposed this season with United players pressing very less.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be looking to rectify both these shortcomings with a string of changes across defence and midfield. New signing Alex Telles and the returning Axel Tuanzebe will offer options at the back while Donny van de Beek will be hoping for a first league start for Manchester United.
Unavailability of key players in the forward line due to suspension and quarantine protocol will impact team selection and formation, with a diamond midfield potentially being used by Manchester United.
The United defence has been responsible for their shaky start this season with no defender looking calm and composed. Last year's signings Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka's weaknesses have been exploited by the opposition so far.
Eric Bailly started the last game ahead of the error prone Victor Lindelof but picked up another niggle while on international duty and is a doubt for the weekend.
It is therefore very likely we'll see the pairing of Maguire and Lindelof return as Solskjaer will be reluctant to rush Tuanzebe who has just returned. Luke Shaw's place looks under threat with new signing Alex Telles raring to go and eager to impress on debut.
Back four: Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire and Telles.
The arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January transformed Manchester United's midfield and improved the style of play which helped them finish third last season.
While he appears to be suffering a dip in form, he is still their best player and is a guaranteed starter. Manchester United fans have been begging to see new boy Donny van de Beek start in the league and they might finally see that happening with the Dutch youngster potentially starting at the tip of the diamond.
Bruno will be joined by the controversial Paul Pogba in the middle, having played in a similar position for France during the break. The experienced Nemanja Matic will complete the diamond and will be hoping to shield his defenders better against an energetic Newcastle team.
Midfield: Matic, Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Donny van de Beek.Published 15 Oct 2020, 17:54 IST