Manuel Pellegrini must be tearing his hair out privately as he starts to consider his team plans for the weekend.
But his track record shows that out of form players are usually immediately replaced for the following game and we must bear in mind that famous “If I could have taken 11 off I might have fone” line.
One thing seems crystal clear – Seb Haller needs a ‘proper’ partner against one of the meanest defences in the league with Lanzini having been unable to get anywhere near him up front.
Considering the lack of service Haller has received out of midfield it seems a small miracle that he has managed four goals so far this term.
The Blades – having conceded less than a goal a game this season – will be a serious test and given the poor form of Pablo Fornals, Felipe Anderson and Lanzini, the manager’s options look limited.
Given the emphasis that was placed on midfield signings in the summer, the current situation could hardly be more depressing.
Robert Snodgrasss has shown nothing this term so his re-introduction maybe a pretty desperate measure and most would surely prefer to see young Nathan Holland given a chance on the bench at least.
Maybe his presence would inspire Anderson back to the sort of form of which we know he is capable as the Irons look for a crucial win.
Sadly Lanzini has produced nothing over recent games and the manager may decide to start Jack Wilshere from the start despite his own less than sparkling form when he has appeared this term.
Much will depend on who is available given that we were told this morning that one or two have taken serious knocks but assuming all are fit this is the team we may see.
Roberto; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Noble, Rice; Yarmolenko, Wilshere, Anderson or Holland, Haller.