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How Man Utd could line up with Marcel Sabitzer

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Injuries and a congested fixture schedule have hampered Manchester United’s squad towards the end of January, so much so they could make additions on transfer deadline day.

Christian Eriksen received a reducer in the FA Cup win over Reading and will be out for a matter of months, leaving United short in midfield as they eye success both domestically and in Europe under Erik ten Hag.

90min understands United have been offered the chance to sign Bayern Munich’s Marcel Sabitzer to add depth, with the midfielder on his way to Manchester to finalise the terms of a loan move to Old Trafford.

Sabitzer has struggled to truly assert himself in Bayern’s starting lineup under Julian Nagelsmann’s starting XI, with the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Muller and Jamal Musiala often featuring in central roles.

But how could the starting XI look if the Austria international makes the move to Old Trafford? Here’s a look at the potential formations Sabitzer could feature in.

Listen now as Scott Saunders hosts Graeme Bailey and Toby Cudworth to discuss why Joao Cancelo looks set to join Bayern Munich on loan from Man City, Arsenal’s ongoing pursuit of Moises Caicedo & the futures of Pedro Porro, Enzo Fernandez, Youri Tielemans and more.

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4-2-3-1 is manager Ten Hag’s preferred formation and so far this season Casemiro has often featured there alongside the more creative Eriksen.

Sabitzer brings more of a box-to-box threat compared to Eriksen’s vision-inspired passing game. However, he showed his keen eye for goal and creative streak during his RB Leipzig days, while his gut-busting runs forward will also go down well in Ten Hag’s system.

Taking Casemiro out of the starting XI is unthinkable for some United fans – just look at the reaction to his suspension against Arsenal – but everyone needs a rest and Scott McTominay could partner Sabitzer in deep midfield if things really came to that.

Potential lineups:

Casemiro (DM) – Marcel Sabitzer (DM)

Marcel Sabitzer (DM) – Scott McTominay (DM)

Marcel Sabitzer (DM) – Fred (DM)

With Eriksen out injured for the foreseeable future, Ten Hag could switch to a 4-3-3 and play Sabitzer in one of two central midfield spots in front of Casemiro. There he would be closer to Bruno Fernandes, though he could also pair up with Fred when the Portugal international needs a rest.

Sabitzer could drop even further into the defensive midfield role having played there before to cover for Casemiro. If United were chasing a game, a formation of him, Eriksen and Fernandes could be deployed.

Potential lineups:

Casemiro (DM) – Marcel Sabitzer (CM) – Bruno Fernandes (CM)

Casemiro (DM) – Marcel Sabitzer (CM) – Fred (CM)

Casemiro (DM) – Christian Eriksen (CM) – Marcel Sabitzer (CM)

Marcel Sabitzer (DM) – Christian Eriksen (CM) – Bruno Fernandes (CM)

Sabitzer has often been used on the left of attack, though he’s not the archetypal winger. Marcus Rashford has nailed down that position, so he would have to be deployed centrally or rested for Sabitzer to feature.

There is also plenty of competition in the final third of the pitch for United, with Antony, Wout Weghorst and Anthony Martial all pining for minutes.

Potential lineups:

Antony (RW) – Wout Weghorst (ST) – Marcel Sabitzer (LW)

Antony (RW) – Marcus Rashford (ST) – Marcel Sabitzer (LW)

Marcel Sabitzer (RW) – Wout Weghorst (ST) – Marcus Rashford (LW)

Antony (RW) – Anthony Martial (ST) – Marcel Sabitzer (LW)

Marcel Sabitzer (RW) – Anthony Martial (ST) – Marcus Rashford (LW)

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