After all the talk about how Manchester United’s big money signings will make them a force in English football once again, it is now time for the Red Devils to prove their credentials on the pitch when Queens Park Rangers pay a visit to Old Trafford on Sunday.
While United certainly look a ridiculously strong squad on paper due to the arrivals of Radamel Falcao, Daley Blind and Angel Di Maria among others, one would be naïve to think that the Red Devils will simply breeze past QPR this weekend.
Despite all the star arrivals, Louis van Gaal still needs to find the right balance and it remains a mystery as to whether he will stick to his trademark 3-5-2 system or go with a more traditional 4-4-2 against QPR.
Only time will tell as to which formation van Gaal will go with but here is our selection of the starting XI that looks the strongest for United heading into the game against the Hoops.
David De Gea is a certain starter in goal
Although it remains to be seen what sort of lineup van Gaal will go with for the clash on Sunday, there is little doubting as to who will be the man between the sticks for the Red Devils. David De Gea has been one of the few bright spots for United over the last 18 months or so and will surely start in goal this weekend.
That being said, De Gea has not enjoyed the best of starts after having already conceded 7 goals in 4 matches and the young Spaniard will undoubtedly be desperate to keep a clean sheet against QPR.
United have looked very uncomfortable with a five man defence and we are of the opinion that a flat back four would be more suited for the Red Devils, considering the players at their disposal.
Luke Shaw is back in contention once again and should be handed his debut, while new signing Marcos Rojo looks set to be awarded his first start for United alongside Jonny Evans in central defence, as Phil Jones has been ruled out with injury.
Rojo is set to be handed his debut
Rafael is also available and he will be competing for a start in the right back spot against Antonio Valencia.
If indeed van Gaal decides to stick with a five man defence, young Tyler Blackett will be handed a start in central defence alongside the duo of Rojo and Evans. Chris Smalling is a doubt and it remains to be seen whether he will recover in time for Sunday’s clash.
Van Gaal is still without the services of Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini and Jesse Lingard, while Ashley Young has also been ruled out with injury.
However, Ander Herrera is back in contention and new signing Daley Blind has also been declared fit for the clash. Van Gaal has stated that he wants to use Blind as a defensive midfielder and the 24-year old should start at the middle of the park alongside Herrera. Vice captain Darren Fletcher and Anderson are also in contention though.
Di Maria and Mata could both start this weekend
Angel Di Maria was given bit of a free role against Burnley last time out and will probably be used in a similar way this weekend as well.
Despite all the talk surrounding his future, Juan Mata will also most likely be handed a start on the left, but will surely tuck in behind the two front men through the course of the ninety minutes.
If indeed van Gaal decides to go with an out and out winger, the duo of Antonio Valencia and Adnan Januzaj could be in contention as well.
Van Gaal has a selection headache in attack due to the presence of three world class strikers at his disposal in Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao.
While it is a selection dilemma which no manager in the world would mind having, van Gaal is presented with a problem of how to strike a balance by integrating all the three players in his frontline.
Van Gaal may resist the temptation to start with Falcao
It will certainly be tempting for van Gaal to start with Falcao, but the Dutchman will most likely stick to his traditional front two of Rooney and van Persie and introduce the Colombian superstar from the bench.
However, there is also a possibility that Falcao could line up along van Persie in attack with Rooney dropping in the hole behind the two players at the expense of Juan Mata.