“I wouldn’t be shocked”: Merson tips shock youngster to start over Antony in the Manchester derby

Paul Merson tips Anthony Elanga to start over Antony for Manchester United against Manchester City in the derby

Paul Merson has tipped Anthony Elanga to start over Antony for Manchester United against Manchester City in the derby. The ex-Gunner feels the Sweden international’s work rate could push him ahead of the Brazilian against the champions.

Elanga established himself in the Red Devils’ team last season. With other forwards failing to perform, the 20-year-old saw a lot of game time.

Writing in his column on Sportskeeda (h/t Manchester Evening News), Merson feels City’s bombarding full-backs will put pressure on United’s wingers to track back. And the forward, who played for the Gunners between 1985 and 1997, feels Erik ten Hag will drop Antony.

Paul Merson tips Anthony Elanga to start over Antony for Manchester United in the derby.
Paul Merson tips Anthony Elanga to start over Antony for Manchester United in the derby. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“It’s going to be a hard game for Man United’s front line. I’m not sure if Ten Hag will play Antony from the start – there will be a lot of tracking back with Joao Cancelo bombing forward.

“Manchester City will look to create overloads in the final third, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Elanga plays just to track Cancelo.”

The former Ajax winger reunited with the Dutch manager in Manchester. And Ten Hag has opted to start the 22-year-old in every game since his signing.

Antony is seemingly trusted by the Dutch manager. In their time together at the Amsterdam-based club, the two have found success, winning multiple league titles.

The 22-year-old started against Arsenal in the 3-1 victory at Old Trafford. And the Brazilian repaid the faith by scoring the opening goal against the Gunners on his debut.

Antony has slotted straight into the Manchester United starting lineup.
Antony has slotted straight into the Manchester United starting lineup. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

However, before Antony’s arrival, Elanga was the one Ten Hag counted on. And the Sweden international got into the team ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the previous campaign, Elanga featured 27 times for United, scoring three goals and providing two assists. While the 20-year-old did not have the best of numbers, the Sweden international brought energy to the side.

More Manchester United News

But Antony seems to be Ten Hag’s preferred choice. And while City are a dangerous side, the Red Devils are also on a good run in the Premier League. Hopefully, United will get one over the Sky Blues on 2 October.