It was not pretty once again but Manchester United got the job done against Sunderland with a 2-0 victory over the weekend.
The current Manchester United side is a far cry from the team that dominated English football for the last two decades and Louis van Gaal is still yet to convince everyone regarding his so-called philosophy.
Nonetheless a majority of United fans do appreciate the fact that rather than attractive performances, United need to get enough points on the board in order to be able to secure a top four finish and till van Gaal manages to rack up wins – stylish performances can take a back seat for the time being.
The Red Devils now prepare for a tough looking clash against Newcastle United away from home and one can be sure that the fans would not mind another grinding victory over the Magpies as John Carver’s well drilled side can prove to be tough opponents.
The probable line-up for Manchester United –
David De Gea had precious little to do against Sunderland but he did make a couple of smart saves during crucial moments of the game and his contribution in the victory cannot be undermined.
It is largely due to the Spaniard’s presence in goal that United currently boast one of the best defensive records in the Premier League and one can be sure that the Newcastle United attack will find it very tough to breach the 24-year old’s lines.
Having been lambasted all season, United’s backline seems to be the most important component the squad at the moment – strange as it may sound. Van Gaal decided to go with a flat back four against Sunderland and it has to be said that they performed exceptionally well on the day.
The central defensive duo of Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans finally looked steady and with Phil Jones still struggling with an injury, the two look likely to start once again at the heart of the backline.
It was Antonio Valencia and Marcos Rojo that were surprisingly deployed on the full back positions and given their solid performance, it would not be a surprise if they retain their place in the starting lineup as well.
The likes of Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett provide other options for van Gaal but Luke Shaw is still a doubt for the clash.
It was a flat performance from the Manchester United midfield during the first half against Sunderland and van Gaal may well decide to make a couple of changes, especially with Michael Carrick now back in contention.
Ander Herrera and Daley Blind started last time out and it looks likely that Carrick might take the place of Blind in the holding midfield position.
Ashley Young has enjoyed a renaissance in recent times and he should continue on the left wing while there is a possibility that Angel Di Maria could be dropped after another ineffectual performance last time out.
If indeed Di Maria is excluded from the start, Adnan Januzaj looks the most likely candidate to replace the Argentine superstar while Juan Mata also offers an option.
Wayne Rooney ended his goal scoring drought last week with a two goal salvo and more importantly, his performance was a message to van Gaal that the England international should be leading the line rather than slogging in midfield.
With Robin van Persie still ruled out with injury, it looks like Rooney will start in attack once again. Radamel Falcao was decent against Sunderland and he should be handed another chance to impress this weekend at St. James’ Park.
Via – Lineup Builder