There was a time earlier in the campaign when it looked like Manchester United were certainties for a top four finish. Recent events, however, have proven that the Red Devils are anything but sure of a Champions League place and if they do not improve drastically in the coming weeks – there is a grave danger that the current campaign will finish in disappointment once again.
Therefore, manager Louis van Gaal will be demanding his side to improve following poor performances against the likes of Southampton, Queens Park Rangers and disappointingly against Cambridge United and a convincing victory will be the bare minimum the United faithful will be expecting when the Red Devils square off against Premier League basement side Leicester City at Old Trafford on Saturday.
While United should head into the game as favourites, Leicester have been showing signs of improvement over the last few weeks or so and the Red Devils most certainly cannot head into the game with complacency on their minds.
In addition, Leicester embarrassed United 5-3 when these two sides squared off against each other earlier on in the campaign and van Gaal’s men will certainly have thoughts of revenge heading into the clash.
Here is the Strongest Possible Lineup for Manchester United on the day –
It was surprising to see David De Gea start ahead of Victor Valdes for the clash against Cambridge United in the FA Cup last Friday.
De Gea is clearly the most trusted member of the United squad for van Gaal and the Spaniard will be sure the take his place between the sticks against Leicester City this weekend as well.
The young goalkeeper had let in five goals against Leicester earlier on in the campaign and he will surely be hopeful of putting in a much improved performance this time around.
Despite the poor run of recent results, van Gaal has been insistent on the fact that he will not change his preferred 3-5-2 formation and as a result, it is expected that the Red Devils will line up with a three man defence once again.
Jonny Evans has been rated as a doubt for the clash, but Chris Smalling is expected to brush off a slight niggle to be available in time. If Smalling is passed fit, he looks set to start at the heart of the defence alongside Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones.
With Ashley Young still ruled out with injury, Luke Shaw looks set to start in the left back position while Antonio Valencia should retain his place on the opposite flank ahead of Rafael.
United have been handed a huge blow ahead of the clash with the news that Michael Carrick has been ruled out for at least a month.
With Carrick out and Darren Fletcher seemingly on his way to West Ham United, it looks like Wayne Rooney is the best candidate to start at the middle of the park and the United captain should be partnered by Daley Blind.
However, Marouane Fellaini and Ander Herrera also provide options in midfield and if van Gaal wants to keep Rooney in attack – either one of the duo should be handed a nod.
As Rooney drops into a deeper role, Juan Mata should start in a play maker’s position while Angel Di Maria is expected to start in a withdrawn attacking role behind the lone front man.
Radamel Falcao has endured a difficult spell during the last few weeks or so and with Robin van Persie returning to full fitness, it looks like the Colombian superstar will drop down to the bench once again.
Van Persie himself is not in the best of forms at the moment and he will be hopeful of finding the net against the shaky backline of Leicester City in order to regain his confidence.
Via – Lineup Builder