Who To Replace The Suspended Paul Pogba Against Derby
Due to Paul Pogba’s disappointing and reckless red card against Arsenal, Manchester United’s most influential and important player will be absent from the biggest game of the season so far.
The Red Devils will miss Pogba’s skill, tenacity and precision in the middle of the park, but they cannot dwell on things that are out of their control. They have a squad and now they must rely on those players to live up to the billing and perform when is asked of them.
A possible candidate to replace Pogba in Manchester United’s midfield is Ander Herrera, who filled in for him through the six-week absence of the Frenchman due to injury. The Spaniard’s performances this season have certainly dropped, which has been disappointing, but, based on past history, he is a big game player that turns up in the most crucial of times.
Herrera, when in form, brings a great sense of urgency and aggressiveness to United’s team. While he is not the biggest, nor the strongest, he certainly holds more than his own for the Red Devils and portrays a passion that is palpable. The Spaniard is a fighter until the very last whistle, which is exactly how United to treat the game against their across-town rivals.
This is not the same Manchester derby of the past few years. This has great importance in deciding how the agenda is set for the two clubs’ respective seasons. If United win, they close the gap to a measly five points, while if City win, they can extend their lead to eight points – which is a sizeable difference that will be increasingly difficult to turnaround.
For this type of game, you need players that are confident and are brave. There is no time for passengers in either team, because they will be punished.
Another central midfielder that could be of great use to José Mourinho is Marouane Fellaini, one of the Portuguese boss’ trusty lieutenants on the pitch. If the Belgian is passed fit, it is expected that he will start in Pogba’s role, providing an aerial threat that Herrera simply does not possess.