How many times do you see Manchester United rest loads of players prior to a big game, only to spank the opposition more comfortably than usual? Lots is the answer. It happened again at the weekend as players like Shinji Kagawa, Javier Hernandez and Darren Fletcher all played a major part in annihilating the opposition, in a manner that we haven’t seen anywhere near enough from the first team this season.
Admittedly Manchester United were playing a team bereft of form. But what struck us about the match was how much pace there was in the side. Chicharito, Kagawa and Smalling, in particular, added the sort of ground speed that has been painfully lacking for large parts of the season. Manchester United had the pace to get in behind Newcastle’s defence time and again.
Hopefully David Moyes will consider the positives from this game when he selects his team for the biggest game of the season. Sadly Manchester United can’t pick the majestic Juan Mata. But it is looking increasingly likely that they will be able to pick their best player – Wayne Rooney.
Especially in the away leg, pace will be all important in making those counter attacks pay dividends. Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney got the nod as the main strikers in the first leg but Chicharito must have put himself in the frame with his electric display against Newcastle. If he has a weakness we think that his touch can let him down against top opposition and he’s not the best striker form outside the box. But inside it he’s so dangerous.
But we are going to leave him on the bench in order to get Kagawa in there. Give Chicharito half an hour at the end if necessary when the opposition are tired and even more susceptible to his pace.
Adnan Januzaj had a brilliant game too on Saturday but perhaps still doesn’t have the consistency to be selected for this one. Welbeck caused all sorts of problems in the first leg and we have selected him for the left side with Wazza up top. We are also going to put Jones in there to shield the old guard of Vidic and Rio – who have to play after their first leg heroics and general nous.
So here it is. Manchester United’s strongest eleven vs Bayern according to soccersweep. Strength at the back, genuine pace behind the front man and a striker up top who won’t waste chances (Note that fitness doubts remain over Rooney and Rafael). Please let us have your thoughts.
De Gea, Rafa, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra – Carrick, Jones – Welbeck, Kagawa, Valencia – Rooney
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