Manchester United managed to continue their winning run with a 3-1 victory over Burnley in midweek. However, the performance which United put on the day was very poor and it deservedly received criticism from various corners.
It looked like United did not have a proper game plan on the night and were very lucky to have claimed the three points against the spirited Burnley side. Following the game, manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that he is not sure of his best side as of yet and such an admission has most certainly not pleased the fans.
Nonetheless, football is a result based industry and if van Gaal can continue delivering the results, the pressure will be off his shoulders for the time being.
Van Gaal now prepares his Manchester United side for a clash against League One side Preston North End in the FA Cup 5th Round clash on Monday night and although it is most certainly a tricky encounter away from home, a victory for the Red Devils will be the bare minimum that the fans will be expecting.
Here is the Strongest Possible Lineup for Manchester United on the day –
David De Gea has been an ever present in Louis van Gaal’s side this season and although the arrival of Victor Valdes does provide the young goalkeeper competition for a place in the starting lineup, it is widely expected that the 24-year old will start against Preston.
Preston are flying high in League One at the moment and with the feisty Kevin Davies leading the line, one can be sure that De Gea will not be in for a comfortable evening.
Phil Jones was forced off early into the game against Burnley in midweek and although the injury suffered by the defender was not too serious, he is expected to sit out the clash against Preston.
Two goal hero Chris Smalling was Jones’ replacement on the night and he looks set to start in place of Jones on Monday as well, while Marcos Rojo will partner him at the heart of the defence.
Luke Shaw is back in contention following his suspension and he will return straight back into the starting lineup on the left back position while Paddy McNair could continue on the right hand side.
Jonny Evans, Ashley Young and Rafael are all fit as well and could well start if van Gaal decides to change things around at the back.
Daley Blind is an injury concern heading into the clash and will most likely not feature on the night. In place of Blind, Marouane Fellaini will probably replace the Dutchman in the starting eleven.
The most significant change in the personnel though, will be Wayne Rooney being pushed into a more attacking role following a couple of ineffectual performances at the middle of the park.
With Rooney moving into attack, Juan Mata will earn a recall to the lineup while Ander Herrera also provides a good option for van Gaal to choose from.
Angel Di Maria will start once again on the wings and it will be either Herrera or Januzaj who will be deployed on the other flank.
Robin van Persie has been rated as a doubt ahead of the clash and the Dutchman is unlikely to be risked on Monday.
As a result of van Persie’s injury, it provides Wayne Rooney an opportunity to play in his preferred attacking position and he should be partnered by Radamel Falcao once again. If Falcao is not used by van Gaal, James Wilson will be in contention to start alongside Rooney.
Via – Lineup Builder