Manchester United host Sunderland at the weekend as they look to bounce back from a damaging 2-1 defeat at Swansea. With five teams separated by just four points in the fight for the last two Champions League places, this is a must win game for United with difficult games against the likes of Arsenal in the FA Cup and Spurs, Liverpool and Newcastle in the league coming up over the course of the next month. We take a look at the possible line-up for the visit of the Black Cats.
Goalkeeper – David de Gea
Despite Spanish source AS claiming that the Spanish goalkeeper hasn’t spoken to Van Gaal for months, he is expected to keep his place as the last line of defence which has been so crucial to United’s current position this season.
Defence – Rafael, Jones, Rojo, Shaw
The Dutch manager has favoured Phil Jones as Marcos Rojo’s partner. Paddy McNair’s woeful performance last weekend could prompt van Gaal to start Rafael this weekend as the Brazilian has played in a couple of Under-21 games after making his return from injury. Luke Shaw should continue down the left flank.
Midfield – Blind, Herrera, Di Maria, Mata
Having scored a beautiful goal against Swansea, Ander Herrera should start once again alongside Blind and Di Maria in midfield.
United will be looking to create a number of chances and who better than Juan Mata to play at the tip of the diamond. The Spaniard has scored some crucial goals including one in the reverse fixture at the Stadium of Light earlier this season.
Forwards- Rooney, Falcao
Injuries to Robin van Persie and James Wilson surely means that Rooney and Falcao will be paired together despite the Colombian not Van Gaal’s favoured personnel.