Five options open to Solskjaer as Man Utd prepare for must-win Everton clash

Man Utd's clash with Everton on Saturday is now shaping up to be a last chance saloon for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian has come under fire again after back-to-back defeats saw his lacklustre side beaten by Arsenal before losing to Istanbul Basaksehir in a Champions League upset.

Reports have suggested United have already logged an approach with the agents of Mauricio Pochettino about taking over the helm at Old Trafford with Solskjaer's job now in jeopardy.

It will hardly come as a surprise to the United boss given their disappointing start to the season, which has them sitting 15th in the table with just two wins from seven in the Premier League.

And with pressure mounting, how can Solskjaer ward off the threat of the axe when high-flying Everton await next?

Here are five options available to the United boss.

1. Go back to the tried and tested

Solskjaer must be wishing he could travel back in time to when things were slightly more rosy at United.

Less than four months ago his side were on a 19-match unbeaten run as they closed in on a top four spot as well as two cup semi-finals.

So what's changed?

Well much of the excitement of that run lay in the deadly three-pronged partnership of Anthony Martial, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford.

For one reason or another, Solskjaer has only fielded all three stars from the off on two occasions this season – one of which was the horror show against Spurs when Martial was sent off less than half hour in.

The other was a close-run contest at Brighton, though United did hit three past the Seagulls that evening.

With the Red Devils currently hit and miss in front of goal as a collective, maybe it's time Solskjaer got the trio back together.

2. Give Wan-Bissaka new role

Much of United's problems this season have been at the back, with Wednesday's opening goal a prime example of their lack of consistency and concentration.

Each week you never know what you're going to get from United's defence, but they have looked far more solid when operating with a back five.

It's with that formation that United have picked up impressive wins against Man City and PSG this calendar year, but Solskjaer has been urged to tweak his selection to make a slight improvement.

Former England boss Glenn Hoddle said: "[Aaron] Wan-Bissaka in a back three would work for me as the right-sided centre back. I would love to see him play there, I think he’d be brilliant there."

Such a decision would mean Solskjaer would have to find a viable right wing-back option, with Brandon Williams and Timothy Fosu-Mensah the only likely candidates, but food for thought for United's manager.

3. Leave Pogba out the XI

Let's face it, Paul Pogba's time at Man Utd has not lived up to expectations, and it doesn't look to be getting any better.

While the Frenchman was influential against Red Bull Leipzig last week, he then gave away a penalty against Arsenal and started among the substitutes in Istanbul.

The fact that United were losing without him shows that their troubles are not all down to one man – but Pogba is the one consistently taking the flak.

United's better performances of late have arguably been when Pogba was not included in the starting XI, so Solskjaer should be tempted to follow suit at Goodison Park.

Pogba showed he can be effective off the bench against PSG, and his boss can't afford another disappointing display, so keeping him out of the firing line may be a wise move.

4. Let new signings loose

If Old Trafford was open to the public United fans would be screaming for Donny van de Beek from the rooftops.

While the Dutchman failed to make an impact on Wednesday, he has showed glimpses of his talent already this season despite limited minutes.

A debut goal against Palace on the opening day, a clever assist for Juan Mata in the League Cup, plus some intricate link-up play vs Leipzig has given United fans a taste of what's to come.

Throwing him in for his first Premier League start against Everton might be a bold strategy considering their early season form, but Solskjaer may not get another chance.

Not only that but Edinson Cavani is waiting for his full debut, and pack bags of experience and is no stranger to the big occasion.

Also not forgetting Alex Telles, who may well be available if he passes negative on a coronavirus test.

Using all three against the Toffees could be a potentially good roll of the dice.

5. Hit Everton on the counter

Similarly to when using a 3-5-2, United's best results have been in matches where they've been able to soak up pressure and hit sides on the break.

They were unable to find a way past Arsenal at Old Trafford, who pressed and stifled them with their structured approach.

At Goodison Park against a more adventurous Everton, though, such tactics could well bear fruit.

Carlo Ancelotti likes his full-backs to bomb on, leaving plenty of space in behind for United's attackers to roam.

United showed against Leipzig that they can be ruthless once they get their noses in front.

Against Everton, they'll need to be.

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