At 2pm on Sunday, Manchester United will play West Ham United in the Premier League. The away fixture at the London Stadium has historically been a tricky fixture for United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to get a result.
The team selection has sprung no real surprises with the only major shock being that Jadon Sancho has been dropped to the bench to allow a shuffle around which sees Scott McTominay rejoin Fred in the double pivot in midfield.
Solskjaer reverting instinctively to this duo in the midfield shows how this is United's preferred midfield in the big games.
West Ham have shown a great improvement in the past few seasons under former United manager David Moyes and therefore are a major threat to United and the most difficult side that the team have played so far this year.
Therefore reverting to his go-to ‘big game’ midfield. McTominay and Fred will be able to press the creative midfield of Said Benrahma, Nikola Vlasic and Pablo Fornals and reduce the amount of time they must think on the ball.
This will be vital, as since Jarod Bowen is not a natural number nine, you would think that Raphael Varane and Harry Maguire would be able to deal with the player, meaning that West Ham will have to rely more on their midfield three behind the striker.
McTominay and Fred will also want to put in a good performance due to who they are against.
Declan Rice is on United's radar and the acquisition of a defensive midfielder in the new future seems like the only thing that can break up the partnership of Fred and McTominay long-term.
United’s current options in the squad to play in the pivot all come with drawbacks. Nemanja Matic is ageing, Donny van de Beek is a number ten not a six, no matter how much the player claims he is one to try and get game time and Paul Pogba when given defensive duties is not reliable, leaving United open to attack.
And don’t even get me started on the Victor Lindelof in the six arguments. Though on paper a centre back who can pass and mark space seems good, it isn’t. Everything some dislike about Lindelof, in terms of his lack of physicality and awareness would be multiplied in the defensive midfield position.
He would be bullied by the high physicality of the league and it just wouldn’t work, so unfortunately we are stuck with ‘McFred’ for the foreseeable.
You may notice this piece of writing has been produced by a name you're not familiar with on our regular Manchester United content.
That is because we are expanding our horizons and starting to bring even more to you from a whole host of different voices. We have appointed a whole host of people who - like our journalists - care deeply about what's happening at Old Trafford - but sit in the stands rather than the press box.
We want to give you raw, authentic fan voices about the big issues at Man United - which is why the story you have read today might sit on the Manchester Evening News for now, and is part of the MEN family, but is not representative of those who work there full time.
Keep your eyes peeled for more info on where you can read more from this author in the future. But in the meantime, we hope you enjoy what they have written.
Which isn’t as bad as just Fred, McTominay has built an understanding with the Brazilian and unlike the other players at the club, knows how to play around him to allow him to focus on his strengths.
Some fans don’t realise how important McTominay is to the team, but I am hoping that today he will remind the fans what they have been missing since Leeds and help the team retain possession better and look more comfortable on the ball.
And having solidity behind them, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood will be able to score a good amount of goals to secure the result.