Manchester United were clinical as ever against Liverpool last Sunday as they capitalized on some sloppy Liverpool defending to register their sixth consecutive win of the season. Louis van Gaal’s side are coming into a fine run of form as the season heads into the busy Christmas period and the trip to Villa Park promises to be another opportunity to continue the winning momentum. And with Di Maria and Rafael nearing fitness, the signs look good for the Old Trafford side. Let’s take a look at the Manchester United lineup which could take the field on Saturday.
Goalkeeper – David De Gea
The Spanish shot-stopper thwarted Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling on four occasions before denying Mario Balotelli from scoring his first League goal for his new club. United’s undisputed No.1 and arguably the best keeper in the league at the moment.
Defence – Valencia, Jones, Evans, Young.
Antonio Valencia can be a liability at right back at times, but the Ecuadorian can be a useful outlet down the right in a narrow, through-the-middle style United are currently playing with. Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are United’s best two centrebacks on any given day. And the resurgence of Ashley Young in a left back role has filled up the void left by Luke Shaw’s injury.
Midfield – Carrick, Fellaini, Mata.
With Angel Di Maria only likely to make a brief appearance, the in-form Juan Mata gets another chance to impress the new manager. Mata was lively against Liverpool and linked up well with Rooney and van Persie. The problem with Michael Carrick playing for Manchester United is that there is only one of him. The Englishman has been the difference and the catalyst for United’s sizzling run of form. He should lineup alongside Marouane Fellaini.
Attack – Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao.
Wayne Rooney scored a beauty against Liverpool, his sixth of the season and would be looking forward to partnering Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie in a power-packed United strike force. Van Persie scored his third goal in less than a week when he scored against Liverpool in a classic United counter attack. While Falcao will have a first team place and a United long term deal to play for as he returns from injury.