Manchester United face Burnley for their third EPL match of the season and Louis van Gaal is yet to register a competitive victory. The 4-0 loss to MK Dons in the Captial One Cup has deflated whatever confidence that was left in the team and the club, and they would really be raring to have a go at newly promoted Burnley. It won’t be easy for the Red Devils, who are expected to go for broke before the deadline day, as they need some real quality to have a go at the league title, despite having a lot of financial backing.
Here is the predicted Manchester United lineup to face Burnley.
Goalkeeper: David De Gea
The keeper has been one amongst the few bright spots of the team. He is certain to start as the goalkeeper.
Defence: Jonny Evans
The Northern Irishman started the game against MK Dons and had a woeful night. He needs to get back to his elements and step up his performances. He’s among the most experienced defenders in the team and has has shoes too big to fill as he has no Ferdinand or Vidic around.
Defence: Phil Jones
The burly and versatile defender is all set to start again in the defence. Phil Jones has looked good while tackling and breaking up play but his overall defensive positioning and other tactical flaws have been apparent, however he looks to be better than other defenders in the team. Jones would be more consistent once Louis van Gaal settles down with a certain tactic.
Defence: Tyler Blackett
The young 20 year old has emerged to be a regualar starter after an impressive preseason. It is somehow appalling that Manchester United don’t have a single world class defender as yet, and still hope of a UCL spot! Blackett does play well for a 20 year old, but the Red Devils should hit the panic button and get a top quality defender.
Midfield: Darren Fletcher
As the engine room is stuttering and faltering time and again, Louis van Gaal is struggling for options as injuries have also started to creep into the squad. With Fellaini, Carrick and Herrera out injured and Cleverley’s transfer situation hanging in balance, Fletcher looks certain to start.
Anderson would be included only because of the lack of choice in central midfield. The Brazilian did no good to his confidence with a disappointing show in the Capital One Cup. But with Herrera, Carrick and Fellaini injured and Cleverley likely to leave, Louis van Gaal really doesn’t have a central midfielder unless he decides to play Januzaj in an unusal deep role or the new signing Angel Di Maria as a left sided central midfielder. The likes of Kagawa and Mata cannot play deep as well.
Midfield: Antonio Valencia
He is likely to play as a wide player, more as a wingback. It is a very functional role and will need a lot of running from the athletic Ecuadorian. He is probably the one player who looks like a typical wing back or a natural winger capable of playing in a 3-5-2. Young on the other hand has been poor defensively.
Midfield: Angel Di Maria
Di Maria’s natural position is that of a winger and would fit in well. But the problem is, if he’s forced to play as a lone winger, meaning a wingback, he’s likely to get fully spent. He is a naturally hardworking player which means he’s ready to give 100% on the pitch, but it remains to be seen whether van Gaal will play him in place of Anderson and use Young in the winger/wingback role.
Midfield: Juan Mata
The Spaniard has to start either wide or through the centre, irrespective of his unusual form drop or his work rate in the wide areas. He is one amongst very few flair players in Man Utd and would have a key role to play. He needs to rediscover the way he used to boss the midfield in Chelsea, and replicate it in Man Utd.
Forward: Wayne Rooney
He is the club captain and certain to start. He has the quality and the mettle to lead the line and he would be very important to United. Rooney may have to switch positions on the pitch in case of tactical changes. Fans would love to see him gel with strike partner Robin van Persie once again.
Forward: Robin van Persie
A world class striker and arguably the best in the league in terms of shooting, van Persie would need to find his pristine rhythm in a struggling United outfit. With van Gaal, he’s expected to shine bright and obviously be a certain starter.
This is the most likely formation, considering van Gaal won’t trust Anderson to play in the holding role and instead will deploy his new signing Angel Di Maria centrally allowing the unimpressive Ashley Young to continue on the left flank.