I would not be the least bit surprised to see emergency left back Patrice Evra line up at left back with Aaron Cresswell employed in the Arthur Masuaku role on Saturday afternoon against Watford.
With Arthur Masuaku’s disgusting moment of madness coming just before the close of the window on January 27 and little time left to find a replacement in the longer term, it’s probably a worthwhile punt to bring the French left back in for four games as an emergency.
There can be no other reason to sign him and although he is very close to the end of his career he can probably do a short term job for the team.
However, at 36 the idea of him performing as a rapid left wing raider is too much to expect and thus his natural role will be on the left side of the defence presumably freeing up Cressie to attack down the left.
We were woefully shore in that area against Brighton so let’s hope, if that’s the plan, it works against Watford – it makes more sense to me.
Michael Antonio is expected to be involved from the start at the weekend with Marko Arnautovic likely to be on the bench.
And that would allow the manager to play him up front possibly with Joao Mario slotting into the Manu Lanzini role as he bids to reproduce the previously successful partnership between Manu and Marko.
That of course leaves only two fit regular midfielders available – Noble and Kouyate – and rather than use Zabaleta used in there I hope the manager goes for youthful Declan Rice to provide some energy.
That will allow him to play Zaba at the back in his proper position with hopefully Reid, Ogbonna and the previously mentioned Evra at the back.
CandH possible line-up: Adrian, Zabaleta, Reid, Ogbonna, Evra; Cresswell, Noble, Rice, Kouyate; Antonio, Mario.