It won’t be harsh to say that Manchester United’s season so far has been a roller coaster ride, the last result however was the biggest high of the season, beating Liverpool is always special. United are set to embark on their Champions League journey against Dutch giants Philips Sport Vereniging Eindhoven (PSV Eindhoven). The two sides have met a total of 4 times with United winning twice and drawing once. This match will be United’s first match in the Champions League after a year of absence.
Manager Louis Van Gaal has been heavily criticized by the Pundits for his transfer strategy, letting go of many United’s past stars, which eventually left the team short up front.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
After a long transfer saga in the summer, De Gea signed a new four year contract with United last week. He was given a rousing welcome by the United supporters during the match against Liverpool. He was excellent on his return, pulling off some fine saves to deny the likes of Benteke and Ings.
LVG has registered three goalkeepers in the Champions League Squad, so the other keepers will definitely get a chance later on but De Gea looks all set to start against PSV.
Defence: Darmian, Smalling, Blind and Luke Shaw
According to some reports Rojo is fit and ready for selection, but one feels that Van Gaal will go with the same players that started the game against Liverpool. Blind and Smalling will form the centre back pairing. Blind will be high on confidence after scoring a beautiful goal against Liverpool. Smalling has been excellent this season, rightly deserves his place in the team. One thing which has changed about United this season is the solidity at the back and most of the credit for that goes to their full-backs, Shaw and Darmian, they have been superb defensively. Darmian is one of the signings of the summer for United, he has been a treat to watch.
Midfield: Schneiderlin, Carrick, Depay, Herrera and Mata
Schweinsteiger has played three games in a row and with a trip to St. Mary’s coming up, Van Gaal will want his German star to be well rested, therefore Carrick is likely to partner Schneiderlin at the back of the midfield. Former PSV player Depay will start against his old club, alongside Herrera and Mata. Young had a good game against Liverpool but will have to settle for a bench role.
Striker: Anthony Martial
In the absence of Rooney, Fellaini started upfront for United against Liverpool, but after a poor performance from the Belgian last weekend, Van Gaal might be tempted to start his new blockbuster singing Martial upfront. With the arrival of Marital, the attack looked lively again. It’s definitely going to be a gamble to start Martial so soon but Van Gaal has already stated that the striker looks fit enough to start matches now.