Matic and van de Beek.

Line-ups Debate: Who replaces McTominay?

Saturday 15 January 2022 07:00

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has already confirmed that Alex Telles will replace the suspended Luke Shaw against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon, but who will take the place of our other banned player, Scott McTominay?

The much-discussed team news will drop at exactly 16:30 GMT - one hour ahead of kick-off at Villa Park - and you can get it first via the United App, ManUtd.com, MUTV and our social channels. Don't forget to make your United Predictions, either, for the chance to win a signed shirt.

McTominay’s absence is a disappointment following his Man-of-the-Match performance in Monday’s Emirates FA Cup third-round victory at Old Trafford, where he scored the decisive goal, but Rangnick has several options available to him. 

Nemanja Matic is perhaps the obvious choice to come in, given his ability and experience in midfield, although the Serbian has only featured in three of Rangnick’s seven matches in charge so far.  

Interestingly, Donny van de Beek was praised by Ralf on Monday evening following his second-half cameo in the cup, when he undoubtedly helped to clinch an important third-round victory. 

What we will see against Villa in the league? Let us know your thoughts by voting in the poll below, before reading the best guesses of two club reporters...

Who will replace the suspended Scott McTominay at Aston Villa?poll

Who will replace the suspended Scott McTominay at Aston Villa?

I PREDICT MATIC WILL START

With so much experience, Nemanja knows how to shield and protect a defence. The Serbian always has a strong influence on the pitch and should be fresh after not getting any minutes in the FA Cup tie on Monday.

He is also capable of dropping deep to assist the centre-backs and this may prove an option, particularly if Villa are expected to try to make a fast start on their home patch, in order to get the crowd behind them.

When it comes to keeping the ball in tight spots, the midfielder is adept at this skill and retaining possession may end up being another key factor in the tea-time encounter. His height is also more than useful when defending set-pieces, which Villa have managed to cause us problems from in recent meetings.

- Adam Marshall

I PREDICT VAN DE BEEK WILL START

It was fascinating to read Rangnick's comments about Donny during Monday night’s post-match press conference, essentially saying the team took control of the game when the Dutchman entered the action after 72 minutes. Ralf also credited our change in formation for that assertive finish after the Reds successfully switched into the diamond system at Old Trafford.

Interestingly, the German tactician also praised van de Beek in Friday’s pre-match media briefing and revealed he had spoken to the player about his future. “I'm glad to have him in the squad, he came on in a last 15 to 20 minutes against Villa in the cup game and he did well,” said Ralf. “He's always performing on a high level in training. For him, I have a conversation two weeks ago after training exactly about that. I told him I would advise him to stay until the end of the season.”

As we know, our interim manager has not been afraid to use different shapes during his seven matches so far and my hunch is that he will mix it up again on Saturday, with our former Ajax midfielder starting in place of McTominay. Remember, we’ll find out at 16:30 GMT.

- Mark Froggatt
PLAY UNITED PREDICTIONS

Don't forget to pick your starting XI, formation, first scorer, result and Man of the Match via the United App. The fan who scores the most points wins a signed shirt, wherever you are in the world.

Here's what fans are backing at the time of writing...

First scorer: 
54% = Cristiano Ronaldo
11% = Bruno Fernandes
10% = Edinson Cavani

Correct score: 
38% = Aston Villa 1 United 2 
20% = Aston Villa 0 United 2
11% = Aston Villa 1 United 3

Man of the Match: 

36% = David De Gea
28% = Cristiano Ronaldo 
12% = Bruno Fernandes

Play United Predictions now.

Rangnick's press conference: