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Strongest Possible Manchester United XI to Face PSV: Martial and Rooney to Start

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Anthony Martial
Louis van Gaal
Louis van Gaal

Manchester United are slowly getting back to their best again, judging by their league position. Although, they may not be playing the most attractive football in the world, but it’s all based on a solid defence, arguably the best one in the league right now. And it’s due to the presence of a compact defense that United are as high as 2nd in the Premier League, despite all the criticism that the Iron Tulip Louis van Gaal has been forced to deal with.

And a win at Old Trafford tomorrow, when Dutch Champions PSV visit, would all but ensure a spot in the knockout stages. Against a side they’ve lost to already and against the side that happens to be the last side that ended up beating them, United know the game won’t be easy at all. And here’s how the side that Louis van Gaal sends out, may look like-

GK: David de Gea

The Spaniard, despite being a goalkeeper has been a key part of van Gaal’s United setup since his arrival. And Sergio Romero, who is accused of being nervous and not good enough on the ball is someone not worth playing and taking a risk in an important game as this. This being a game that could ensure a safe passage through to the next round, David de Gea has to start.

RB: Matteo Darmian

The Italian has faded to some extent after an impressive start to his United career. He needs to be played in games regularly, such that he doesn’t end up losing his consistency and edge. He’s more sound defensively that Ashley Young and may not be as accurate in an attacking sense, but it fine enough in that sense too. Playing him would be something that the Italian could use as a new foundation for coming back into the fray once again.

CB: Chris Smalling

In what has been an enthralling season for the 26-year-old, he has to be a part of the squad in games as crucial as this one. In his absence, United look defensively frail and in his presence, they benefit from the aura that he exhumes. He provides a lot of solidarities and tackling ability. And not playing him would be a massive blunder. Up against Luuk de Jong, Smalling can prove crucial.

CB: Daley Blind

While Smalling cuts out dangers by tackling and intercepting efficiently, Blind is someone who can outwit the opposition players with the help of his reading of the game and positioning. While Smalling acts as a combative centre-half, Blind can act as the responsible one. Didn’t look too good at left back against Watford.

LB: Marcos Rojo

Although he had a poor game at Vicarage Road this past week but Rojo has been very good at left back, since Luke Shaw’s exclusion at the Phillips Stadion some weeks ago. His crossing is something that provides United another dimension to the play and his defensive attributes ooze determination and commitment.

CDM: Morgan Schneiderlin

The man’s like oxygen. You won’t realize his presence until you think hard about him. But if he isn’t there, you will realize that you’re missing something real bad. Such is the importance of the 26-year-old. A powerhouse who can move forward, pass the ball very well and intercept excellently, Schneiderlin has to be played against a PSV side with pace.

CDM: Bastian Schweinsteiger

The German skipper looked impressive against Watford and came up with the assist for the own goal. Dictated tempo very well and showed glimpses of excellence numerous times too. He circulates the ball forward very well and holds the key in important games such as this.

RM: Juan Mata

Started down the left against Watford but didn’t have the best of games there. Was shrugged off the ball easily sometimes but passed the ball well and made decent attempts to find spaces in front of the Hornets’ back four. He can supply a key pass whenever he wants.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

CAM: Wayne Rooney

Back from an illness, Wayne Rooney might’ve realized that the number ten position is his best position, at this age at least. He looks more like the Rooney we know behind the striker and has been seen distributing passes in wide areas very well. Can unlock defenses at will, if the full backs and winger make runs in behind.

LM: Jesse Lingard

The Englishman has witnessed his emergence now and playing him some games on the trot would be lucrative for him. He did play well against Watford and would be played against PSV, without any shadow of a doubt.

ST: Anthony Martial

The Frenchman has just returned from a foot injury and United missed his pace throughout the game at Vicarage Road. His blistering burst of pace and tendency to go past people by beating them always arouses the United fans and creates chances for them. He has to be played, considering PSV would play on the break, much like CSKA Moscow.