The six changes Man United should make against West Ham

Erik ten Hag may think his Man United stars can handle their manic schedule but surely he must rotate against West Ham before going to Anfield… the SIX changes he should make in the FA Cup tonight

  • Manchester United host West Ham in the fifth round of the FA Cup tonight 
  • It gives Erik ten Hag the chance to rest some players before they play Liverpool 
  • Sportsmail names six changes that the Dutchman should make in the FA Cup 

Erik ten Hag has not been one for changes when it comes to rotating his key players in Manchester United’s pursuit of trophies this season.

The likes of Marcus Rashford and Casemiro have played a key role in all competitions – a key factor as to why United still have an outside shot of winning the quadruple.  

But with the games piling up, Ten Hag is in a position where he needs to change his team somewhere to help keep his main players fit going into the decisive months of the campaign. 

The Red Devils host West Ham in the FA Cup on Wednesday evening, before they go on to play bitter rivals Liverpool at Anfield this weekend. 

Though West Ham should not be underestimated despite their struggles this season, the clash offers Ten Hag the perfect opportunity to make some changes in the middle of a hectic week. 

Sportsmail has picked out six changes that the Red Devils should make for tonight’s clash.

Manchester United’s FA Cup fifth round clash with West Ham could give Erik ten Hag the chance to rest some of his players ahead of their important clash against Liverpool

Victor Lindelof for Raphael Varane   

This is one that makes sense and could be possible given that Ten Hag has been keen to protect the 29-year-old in recent weeks.

The Frenchman was left on the bench for recent victories over Leeds and Leicester, with Ten Hag saying that ‘rotation’ was part of his decision.

Varane has struggled with injuries at various stages throughout his career and is perhaps the one player that Ten Hag needs to protect the most going into the business end of the season. 

Having started the Carabao Cup final, and likely to make the starting XI against Liverpool, Varane could be dropped to the bench to save him from playing three games in a week for the Red Devils.

In his place comes Victor Lindelof, who has impressed when called upon this season, despite his reduction in game-time.

Lindelof has a good partnership with Lisandro Martinez – who keeps his place in the starting line-up – and therefore gets the nod ahead of Maguire who just over a week ago missed their win over Leicester with a knee injury. 

There could be arguments for Maguire to also come in for Martinez, but his partnership with Lindelof has not worked in the past and could be exploited by the Hammers – and Martinez should be able to better cope with the demand of three games in one week than Varane. 

David de Gea meanwhile should keep his place in goal for the Red Devils.  

Victor Lindelof (R) could step in alongside Lisandro Martinez to replace Raphael Varane (L)

Tyrell Malacia for Luke Shaw 

Easy decision here given the last time Luke Shaw didn’t make the starting XI in a Premier League game, was the 6-3 loss to Man City on October 2.

In that time there have been only two games in all competitions he has not featured – Carabao Cup victories over Charlton and the first-leg win over Nottingham Forest.

Shaw had been behind Tyrell Malacia in the opening weeks of the season, but has been an integral part of Ten Hag’s side over the past four months – whether he plays at left back or in his new centre back role.  

Malacia’s game time has decreased since the start of January with just two Premier League starts in that time.

After being left as an unused sub against Newcastle at the weekend, the clash with West Ham would be a good one for him to step into the line-up and give Shaw a rare break.

Our line-up for United tonight does keep Diogo Dalot at right back for the Red Devils. 

Luke Shaw has been an ever-present figure in Ten Hag’s side since the Manchester derby in October

Scott McTominay for Casemiro 

If any player in the starting XI appears to be undroppable, it is arguably their Brazilian maestro Casemiro. 

He produced a sensational performance to help United topple Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final and his ability in midfield could help them dominate rivals Liverpool in the centre of the park at Anfield.

As United challenge on all fronts, this marks one of the better opportunities to give the 31-year-old a rest.

Scott McTominay has made just one start in all competitions since the beginning of January – a 3-2 loss to Arsenal where Casemiro was absent.

West Ham though feels like the type of game McTominay would typically play, and he would be a worthy started in midfield to give Casemiro a deserved rest. 

Casemiro has been integral to United’s success but should be rested against West Ham with Scott McTominay the likely player to come in and replace him

Marcel Sabitzer for Fred 

Christian Eriksen’s injury has meant that Fred has played a bigger part in Ten Hag’s side than the Dutchman perhaps would have liked. 

Fred works well in midfield alongside his Brazilian international team-mate Casemiro, but there would be concerns that United could lose the midfield battle if he starts alongside McTominay – given their struggles in recent seasons. 

McTominay and Marcel Sabitzer appears to be a well balanced midfield, so the January recruit could step in for Fred to give the latter a rest ahead of the trip to Anfield.

Bruno Fernandes meanwhile should keep his place in the starting line-up.  

Marcel Sabitzer could come in for Fred who has seen his game time increase on the back of Christian Eriksen’s injury 

Alejandro Garnacho for Antony 

There are several reasons as to why this change would make sense for tonight’s clash with West Ham.

Antony recently missed a number of games with a leg injury, only returning for their Carabao Cup win over Newcastle.

Playing three games in a week though is not ideal so soon after recovering from injury, so he could instead be used as an impact substitute if United have to chase a victory at Old Trafford tonight.

In his place steps Alejandro Garnacho who has impressed for the Red Devils this season. 

His boundless energy and creativity could cause the Hammers many problems this evening.

Garnacho will be keen to show off his abilities, especially after comments from Ten Hag last month that he needed to be more decisive when opportunities to score arise.

After those comments were made following their 2-2 draw with Leeds, he scored in their next clash with their rivals showing that he is ready to take on any challenge from his manager. 

West Ham could be the perfect game for youngster Alejandro Garnacho to show off his talent

Jadon Sancho for Marcus Rashford 

Jadon Sancho has looked like a new signing since his return from his recent hiatus from the squad.

He scored the vital equaliser in United’s 2-2 draw with Leeds at Old Trafford, before then adding another goal in their 3-0 win over Leicester.

After only playing seven minutes in the Carabao Cup final, a start against West Ham seems like the perfect opportunity to see what he can do from the starting line-up.

Sancho, on paper, could be the key man against West Ham this evening, and another goal would give his increasing confidence the world of good.

Marcus Rashford had been a doubt for Sunday’s victory at Wembley, but was able to play and was awarded United’s second goal.

The England international has been in blistering form since the turn of the year, scoring eight goals in as many league games.

He is United’s main goal threat and it will be key for Ten Hag to give his star forward a rest when their is an opportunity available.  

Wout Weghorst meanwhile is expected to keep his place in the starting line-up.  

Jadon Sancho deserves a start after his impressive return to the fold and could come in for his England international team-mate Marcus Rashford despite the latter’s blistering form

Sportsmail’s Manchester United team to play West Ham in the fifth round of the FA Cup

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