Manchester United host Arsenal in the quarter finals of the FA Cup on Monday night looking to secure a Wembley date with a win over the current holders. Both sides have won the prestigious competition 11 times, so outright supremacy in the competition beckons if either side can lift the trophy in May.
Louis van Gaal’s side have been picking up important wins in recent times, but the level of performance has to improve to topple an Arsenal side at the peak of their powers at the moment. United beat Arsenal in the league at the Emirates earlier in the season, that’s one positive the side from Old Trafford can take into this crunch encounter.
Let’s take a look at the players Louis van Gaal is likely to field against the Gunners on Monday.
Goalkeeper – David De Gea
Where would United be without this man? The Spanish shot-stopper has been in sizzling form this season keeping United firmly in the hunt for a Top 4 finish.
Defence – Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw
Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans have looked solid in recent games, while summer signing Marcos Rojo has been United’s best defender this season. However, with Evans banned for the game, Rojo should start alongside Smalling, while Shaw should start at left back. The question is, can they keep the likes of Giroud and Sanchez quiet?
Midfield – Blind, Carrick, Mata, Di Maria, Young.
Manchester United’s problem is that there is only one Michael Carrick in the team. The Englishman should be back from his injury layoff to play the holding role alongside the busy Daley Blind, ensuring greater protection for the back four. Juan Mata can provide that spark in a free role in midfield and Angel Di Maria would look to make his presence felt against one of United’s biggest rivals. The in-form Ashley Young on the left can cause one or two problems to Hector Bellerin. Young has enjoyed a turnaround of sorts at Old Trafford, and would be keen to make an impact in this one too.
Striker – Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney may not be scoring as many goals as in earlier seasons, but his ability in front of goal remains unquestionable. And as the lone striker in a dynamic 4-2-3-1, Rooney would be licking his lips at the thought of taking on a side he just loves scoring against.