With Manchester United doing so well in the league, Sir Alex Ferguson may be tempted to rest some players against Everton this weekend, ahead of the huge game at The Bernabeu next Wednesday (13th Feb).
With Everton possibly weakened by the absence of key man Marouane Feillani (hip), the Manchester United boss may decide that, to start both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie at Old Trafford would represent too big a gamble, in a game which falls just a few score hours before the tie with Real Madrid.
Rooney is finding top form after injury and is clearly the most effective partner for the flying Dutchman, who has taken United to a new level of consistency this season. They clearly enjoy working together but the prospect of either being injured before United’s biggest game of the season, The Champions League quarter final, will give Ferguson much food for thought in the next few days.
He may well decide that, despite the overall quality and form of Everton, RVP can be used, if needed, from the bench on Sunday (KO 1600 BST).
Manchester United desperately want to maintain their 9 point lead in the title race after letting an 8 point cushion slip in the space a couple of weeks last season. But this desire will be tempered by the need to field the strongest possible 11 in the cauldron of the Bernabeu.
Ferguson is one the pioneers of squad rotation and so expect to see a couple of changes at least. Here’s a possible starting XI for Manchester United, who are 6/10 to win with the bookies.
Manchester United team vs Everton (possible)
De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Anderson, Giggs, Carrick, Nani, Rooney, Hernandez
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