Manchester United were brought crashing back down to earth after they suffered a disappointing 1-0 defeat at the hands of Southampton last weekend and in truth, the Red Devils did not deserve anything from the game as their performance was simply atrocious.
The defeat ends Manchester United long unbeaten run and one could say that it was coming, as the Red Devils had been lucky on many occasions during the last two months or so.
United deservedly lost out against Southampton last time out
Now all of a sudden, manager Louis van Gaal finds himself under pressure following what has been a difficult start and the most damning indication of his reign at the helm of Old Trafford so far has been the fact that his side have only managed 37 points from 21 matches, which is the same number that much maligned former manager David Moyes had accrued during exactly the same stage last season.
The difference between van Gaal and Moyes has been the fact that the Dutchman has been allowed to spend obscene amounts of money and if he the Red Devils’ top four chances come under threat, the 64-year old could well face the same pressure that his predecessor had to endure last year.
Therefore the upcoming clash against Queens Park Rangers on Saturday will be a crucial one for van Gaal and anything other than a victory on the day will heap more pressure on the Dutchman’s shoulders.
Here is the Strongest Possible Lineup for Manchester United on the day –
De Gea must be on his guard to deny Charlie Austin
Although David De Gea was not overworked against Southampton last time out, he would have been disappointed to concede the goal that he did.
Now up against the potent Queens Park Rangers strike force which consists of the deadly Charlie Austin, De Gea will most certainly have to be on his guard once again if United are to avoid another disappointing defeat.
The Manchester United backline looked in shambles once again during the clash against Southampton and rather than the personnel, it seems like the Red Devils are struggling with the 5-3-2 system which Louis van Gaal is insistent on using.
After seeing his side put in a totally inept performance against Southampton though, van Gaal could finally think about changing his system around and there is a possibility that the Dutchman will revert to a more conventional 4-4-2 style for the clash against Queens Park Rangers.
Phil Jones to man the backline for United
A possible change in formation will mean that a centre defender will have to drop down out and it looks like the duo of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones will start at the heart of the backline, with Daley Blind settling for a place on the bench.
There is a possibility that Blind could start on the left side of defence though but he will have to compete with Luke Shaw for a starting berth. On the right, Antonio Valencia and Rafael will be contending for a place in the lineup and the Brazilian could well get the nod due to his defensive capabilities.
Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair are expected to be fit and will be hopeful of being included from the start as well.
With the change in formation, there will be reshuffle in the midfield area as well and Maroune Fellaini could come in to make up the extra man at the middle of the park.
Michael Carrick looks certain to start in a defensive midfield role while Juan Mata should also retain his place in the starting eleven.
Di Maria could be used in a wing position after his horror show against Southampton
Angel Di Maria was inexplicably used as a striker by Louis van Gaal during United’s last game against Southampton and after the Argentine superstar put in an ineffectual performance, he could well be used in his conventional left wing position for Saturday’s clash.
Ander Herrera has been left out of the side on many occasions during the past few weeks but the Spaniard could finally be handed the nod this time around.
The likes of Anderson and Jesse Lingard remain out with injuries while Adnan Januzaj seems to have fallen out of favour under van Gaal.
Robin van Persie injured his ankle during the match against Southampton and there are doubts as to whether the Dutchman will be fit in time to feature for the clash on Saturday.
If the Dutchman misses out, Wayne Rooney will surely be pushed further up the pitch in a more advanced role. However, it is anybody’s guess as to who will line up alongside Rooney in attack.
Wayne Rooney to finally lead the line
Radamel Falcao was mysteriously omitted from the match day squad for the clash against Southampton and there are rumors that the Colombian international is not in van Gaal’s plans.
More often than not, such reports are fabricated stories made up by the media and if fit, Falcao will probably partner Rooney in attack. If Falcao misses out, van Gaal will not be afraid to hand young James Wilson a chance to lead the line.
Via – Lineup Builder