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Written by Harry Clark in association with FPL_Updates
The Manchester United backline have conceded just twice in their first eight games despite the personnel changing throughout the season. The two goals they have conceded this campaign were both by Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, away at Stoke City.
Only Phil Jones, David de Gea and Antonio Valencia have featured in every single Premier League match so far, with Chris Smalling coming in for the injured Eric Bailly.
At left-back, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind have all featured for the Red Devils. On top of that, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rojo are slowly returning from injuries meaning those two could also be in the frame to be in Mourinho’s starting eleven soon.
Mourinho plays to stop opponents, not win games
Mourinho is renowned for ‘parking the bus’ against the top sides in the league and he faces a couple of them in the coming weeks. Their seven clean sheets in the eight league games speaks for itself and Mourinho will not want this fantastic run to come to an abrupt halt against the teams in and around them.
The record for the most clean sheets in a Premier League season is jointly held by Chelsea (2004/05) and Manchester United (2009/10) with 21 games without conceding. The Chelsea season in 2004/05 was done with current United manager Jose Mourinho at the helm and he could smash that record this campaign, requiring 15 clean sheets in 30 games. For the record, both Chelsea and United comfortably won the league in those season, but it’s going to be a tougher task this season for United with their neighbours Man City currently looking invincible.
Time for a double devil dip?
Starting with the goalkeeper, David de Gea regularly pulls off many important saves in a United shirt, most recently to deny Liverpool defender Joel Matip of a certain goal. With seven clean sheets in eight, he could prove to be worth his premium price tag.
Jones, the former Blackburn man is known to be injury prone and has endured a couple of scares so far this season. He has had a few doubts this year but Mou has rested him in the Champions League, allowing him to manage his workload more easily.
There is a sheer lack of competition at the moment for Antonio Valencia to deal with. He is the only recognised right back at United with others such as Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young filling in on rare occasions when Valencia is unavailable. As well as featuring in every Premier League game this season, Valencia is the most likely defender to bring back attacking returns which was proven with his thunderous strike against Everton.
#MUFC injury update!
Jose Mourinho admits he's still unclear on the fitness of Pogba and Fellaini.
— Yahoo Sport UK (@YahooSportUK) October 19, 2017
The other United defender to have netted a goal this season is Ivorian centre back Eric Bailly who scored in their 4-0 away victory at Swansea. However as of late, the defender is being tormented with injury and has been replaced by Chris Smalling, but as soon as he is fit again he is certainly going to walk back into the team.
In the future, it may also be worth keeping an eye out on the left-flank. Darmian started against Liverpool and could feature against the stronger sides on account of his defensive ability. Blind meanwhile started the first three games but has played just one minute since. Rojo started 17 of the 21 Premier League games he played in last year and if he can regain the form that earned him the spot last year, Rojo could become a mainstay in the squad again.