Following a regulation 2-0 victory over Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, Manchester United now focus their attention to the FA Cup as they square off against minnows Cambridge United at Abbey Road on Friday night.
It goes without saying that United head into the game as overwhelming favourites and should be fully expected to claim a victory on the night.
Nonetheless, the FA Cup is romantic for ‘David vs Goliath’ clashes such as these and one can be sure that Cambridge will look to give their much illustrious opponents a difficult time on Friday.
Matches against lower league oppositions are never straightforward as they seem and after having given a tough time by Yeovil Town in the previous round, Louis van Gaal will know better than anybody else that he and his players should not underestimate Cambridge.
Here is the Strongest Possible Lineup for Manchester United on the day –
David De Gea has been an ever present for Manchester United this season but it finally looks like the Spaniard will be handed a well deserved rest following United’s recent acquisition of Victor Valdes.
Valdes has not played a competitive fixture for nearly a year now and the match against Cambridge United will be a good opportunity for the experienced goalkeeper to make his return.
That said though, Valdes should not expect an easy ride and he will have to be on guard throughout the ninety minutes in order to help United to victory.
With Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans out injured and Ashley Young a doubt, it is widely expected that van Gaal will field a young defensive line for the clash on Friday.
Luke Shaw has been declared fit to play and he should slot straight in at left back while Rafael will probably come in on the right flank at the expense of Antonio Valencia.
In central defence, van Gaal has the option of fielding the young duo of Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett or go with a more experienced duo of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.
It will not be a surprise though, if the Dutch manager elects to select a mixture of both experience and young, with Jones and McNair starting.
There has been a lot of speculation flying around regarding the future of long serving midfielder Darren Fletcher and it looks very likely that the 30-year old will be departing Old Trafford during the January transfer window.
Therefore, the clash against Cambridge could be Fletcher’s final one in a United shirt and the experienced star should line up in midfield for possibly the last time on Friday.
Alongside Fletcher, Ander Herrera could be handed the nod after spending a lot of time on the sidelines recently while Marouane Fellaini is the favourite to start in a more advanced role as Juan Mata will probably be handed a rest.
Adnan Januzaj is in contention for a place in the starting lineup as well and he could line up in the wings, with Angel Di Maria dropping down to the bench. If indeed Januzaj is overlooked once again, Wayne Rooney should start.
Robin van Persie has been passed fit to play for the clash but the Dutchman is unlikely to feature against Cambridge.
Therefore, there is a possibility that James Wilson and Radamel Falcao could be handed a chance to shine. The duo have shown signs of improvement in recent times and will surely be hoping to get themselves on the score sheet on Friday night.
Via – Lineup Builder