The Debate: What changes should Erik make for Forest?

Thursday 24 August 2023 11:24

Manchester United will go in pursuit of getting back to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday, when Nottingham Forest are the visitors to Old Trafford for a 15:00 BST kick-off.

The Reds were on the wrong end of a 2-0 scoreline away to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, and currently have three points from a possible six in the league in 2023/24, having beaten Wolves in the opening round of fixtures, before that trip to the capital to face Spurs.

Erik ten Hag’s team will be without injured midfielder Mason Mount – who started at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – meaning there will be at least one change to the XI for our upcoming clash with Forest.

So, who will come in for Mount? Our panellists on a brand-new episode of The Debate were unanimous in their thinking that Mason's absence could see Christian Eriksen picked to start.

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Here, our panel analyses Tottenham away, the Women’s World Cup and Saturday’s massive game against Forest…

“With Mount being out, I think Eriksen has to come in,” said Manchester Evening News journalist Samuel Luckhurst.

“He was excellent at Forest in April, and this is going to be a game that United will have at least 60 per cent of the ball. I think Arsenal had 79 per cent against Forest in their first game of the season and so Eriksen is completely suited to that. 

“They’ve got to be attack-minded and he’s an attacking change.”

Also joining Luckhurst and host Liam Bradford on this week’s episode were football writer James Ducker, plus former Reds Siobhan Chamberlain and Danny Webber.

Answering the question about possible changes first among our guests, Luckhurst also suggested a second alteration that he would make to our XI this weekend, that would see Jadon Sancho come in to play up front, with Alejandro Garnacho instead tasked with making an impact from the bench.

That notion was something Chamberlain, Ducker and Webber agreed with, because it would allow Marcus Rashford to play in his favoured left-wing position, instead of leading the line centrally like he did against Wolves and Spurs.

“You’d rather have him [Rashford] somewhere he wants to play and then someone else centrally who maybe isn’t as natural there, but you’ve still got one of your starters, one of your key players, where he wants to be,” former United Women goalkeeper Chamberlain explained.

Mount picks up injury


United's new midfielder will miss Saturday's Old Trafford encounter with Nottingham Forest.

Former Academy graduate Webber added: “I’d agree with Sancho and Eriksen coming in.”

“What I think is that if you start making wholesale changes, then you don’t allow your players to get into a rhythm and allow them to amend the mistakes they’ve been making in previous games. 

“So, for me, it’s not about wholesale changes. The obvious one is Marcus going out to the left, Jadon coming in and, with Mason Mount out, bringing in Christian Eriksen.” 

You can watch the full episode of The Debate here, in which our panel also reflect on the trip to Tottenham and the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final, which involved three United Women players.


What changes do you think Ten Hag will make to our line-up for this weekend’s game against Nottingham Forest?

You can have your guess by playing United Predictions, in which you can attempt to correctly forecast our starting XI, first goalscorer, Man of the Match and the final score for a chance to win great prizes!