‘Hope’ is something worth clinging onto, as far as Manchester United are concerned. The performance against Chelsea is something that offers them this hope that possibly, all is not lost yet. United looked quite a bit like what fans expect out of them- fast paced, confident and slick.
And come Saturday, it would an opportunity for the Red Devils to defy sayings such as ‘Form is temporary, losing to Swansea is permanent’ and get the monkey off their backs with a result. They haven’t won a single game this December and have slipped to 6th in the Premier League and are level on points with fierce rivals Liverpool. Swansea has beaten United in their previous three meetings, which is something that will provide the struggling Swans an impetus to somehow grind out a result once against at Old Trafford. And here’s how Manchester United may line up against Alan Curtis’ side.
GK: David De Gea
The Spaniard is someone Louis van Gaal must credit for saving his post, to sound brutally honest. The 25 year old pulled off three sublime stops to deny the Blues and is certain to start against Swansea too.
RB: Ashley Young
The ageing Englishman has looked defensively sound over the past few weeks at right back and is seen marauding up and down the right flank game in game out. He made two crucial tackles against Chelsea and with the likes of Marcos Rojo, Valencia and Luke Shaw still out, Young must start unless Guillermo Varela doesn’t get a go.
CB: Chris Smalling
Arguably one of the best defenders in the league right now, Smalling has been a true revelation. Unwavered at the back, Smalling has been strong in the tackle and has read the opposition attacks to perfection. Being fit, he will start.
CB: Daley Blind
The Dutchman has although committed some errors here and there, but on the whole, has looked sound. A ball playing center half, who can play on the left too, Blind has developed a decent partnership with Smalling at the back.
LB: Matteo Darmian
The former Torino star impressed a lot against Chelsea, with crossing the only problem. Was replaced by Cameron Borthwick Jackson after a solid display. Has to start against Swansea.
CDM: Morgan Schneiderlin
The Frenchman cut a dominating figure against Chelsea and made some important interceptions in the midfield too. Pressed Nemanja Matic very well and in his absence United look light weight too.
CDM: Bastian Schweinsteiger
The German skipper provides much needed composure and experience in midfield, pulling the strings of the heart of the park and dropping deep when needed.
LM: Anthony Martial
The 20-year-old has taken the world by surprise, at a very young age. He provides United with a threatening burst of pace and willingness to go past players. Without him, United look too rusty to play in the modern day.
CAM: Ander Herrera
Ander Herrera is someone who knows how to find pockets of space in the midfield, such that he can supply passes to the forward accompanying players. He is someone who reflects the passion and commitment towards playing for the club.
RM: Juan Mata
The Spaniard impressed in the first half but faded in the second. His ability to find a key pass is something that can help United score goals. And it can come anytime, playing him makes sense.
ST: Wayne Rooney
The Man of the Match against Chelsea, Rooney’s hold up and layoffs were more than just impressive. They reminded us that the skipper is better off deeper in the number ten role and a similar performance can help United ease past Swansea.