Manchester United can, for one of the first occasions this season, select their strongest eleven in the crunch clash against Liverpool at the weekend.
Much of the pressure for a poor season has been placed at the feet of new Manchester United manager David Moyes. Some of his selections and tactics have been questionable. But it’s also important to point out that he has had a stinker in terms of injuries.
He’s lost key players like RvP, Rooney, Carrick, Joens and Rafael at crucial stages of the season. Only now are we seeing an available eleven which could be called ‘the strongest’.
So David Moyes has what they call nice problems to have at last. We think that the team, for the must win game at Liverpool, almost picks itself.
The performances of the front six players over the last few weeks have meant that this area of the team should be pretty settled for the remainder of The Premier League campaign. After long term injuries Marouane Fellaini is at last beginning to resemble a Manchester United player. But he hasn’t yet done it against a top team and this could be the perfect stage for him to properly announce himself.
Similarly Juan Mata has been showing increasing glimpses of why Manchester Untied parted with so much money for him. Expect him to get better by the week providing Moyes doesn’t play him too wide. It would be a major surprise if Januzaj, Rooney, Carrick and RvP didn’t start on Sunday.
So the only points of contention, as far as we can see, are in the defensive areas. De Gea, Rafael and Evra are surely nailed-on starters. But who plays in the centre of defence?
We think that Vidic and Ferdinand are largely being saved for Europe now. Smalling and Jones played together for the first time in The Premier League last weekend and that looks like the partnership of the future. But Moyes may mix and match experience with youthful mobility in this game. We could see Rio and Jones starting.
So here is the team to defy Liverpool. Manchester United fans – please feel free to argue bitterly.
Manchester United (4-2-3-1) – De Gea, Evra, Jones, Ferdinand, Rafael, Carrick, Fellaini, Januzaj, Rooney, Mata, RvP
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