Manchester United are fresh off a 3-0 away win at Goodison Park, where they undoubtedly controlled most of the match and gained three points to sit at third place in the Barclays Premier League.
The United offence, which sputtered at the start of the season, looked very impressive with the returning Ander Herrera back in the fold playing the number 10 position. Herrera added a goal to his tally and dictated play the majority of the match. Even the out of form Wayne Rooney scored an impressive goal, slotting one past Tim Howard, which marked his first away goal in the Premier League in almost a year. Herrera was full of praise for his captain after the match.
On the defensive side of things, Chris Smalling is slowly becoming one of the best defenders in the Premier League, as he bossed Romelu Lukaku the entire match to help the Red Devils keep the clean sheet.
United responded like champions with this win and will look to keep the momentum going in the UEFA Champions League match this Wednesday, prior to hosting Manchester City this weekend. CSKA Moscow are the opponents that await United, and will look to spoil the momentum that the three time European Champions will be bringing with them.
Goalkeeper- David De Gea
No surprise here as Louis van Gaal will certainly trust De Gea in this all important fixture away from Old Trafford. De Gea, along with Smalling and Herrera, was the other standout performer against Everton over the weekend.
Right Back- Matteo Darmian
There is a chance that Darmian could be rested as van Gaal may look to keep some of his players fresh ahead of the City clash, but Darmian should patrol the right side of the back four.
Central Defender- Chris Smalling
As noted earlier, Smalling is certainly having a breakout season and with arguably the best English defender, John Terry, having a subpar season, has taken over as the best England has to offer. The next logical step for Smalling is prove his worth on the international stage, just as Terry had done at Smalling’s age, shutting down the best in Europe. Although CSKA Moscow doesn’t have the likes of Messi, Ronaldo, or Ibrahimovic, this will be a good test for him.
Central Defender- Phil Jones
Jones looks to have put his current injury crisis behind him, and may have secured his place alongside Smalling in the partnership. Daley Blind had filled in very well, but the more physical Jones is the natural central defender.
Left Back-Marcos Rojo
Rojo had a fine game at Goodison Park, assisting Herrera’s header with a superb cross. The versatile Rojo will be needed with United contending in multiple cups.
Central Midfielder- Morgan Schneiderlin
The former Southampton man scored his first goal for United, smashing home the go ahead goal early in the first half. Schneiderlin, more known for his tackling and passing, certainly won’t forget his first one for his new team.
Central Midfielder- Michael Carrick
Keeping with the rotation that van Gaal has been applying in central midfield, Michael Carrick should return to the starting 11. The experience of Carrick cannot be underestimated on the big European nights like this one.
Right Wing- Juan Mata
Although he was subbed over the weekend, Mata should return back the the starting 11, as he has been one of the standout attacking players this season. He’ll certainly look to pick up an assist or score a crucial goal to make sure a halftime substitution will not happen again.
Attacking Midfielder- Ander Herrera
Herrera added much needed pace and craftiness to the United midfield, and with his performance over the weekend, will surely demand more opportunities to start. He has all the attributes as Mata on the offensive side, but he can track back and defend as well. If he performs well once again, Memphis Depay may find it much harder to get back into the starting 11.
Left Wing- Wayne Rooney
Besides Memphis, Rooney has been one of the biggest disappointments for United, however, he did play better than he has in recent matches, especially in the second half against Everton. Memphis may be an option here, as he has played decent in Champions League play, but it’ll be tough to drop United’s captain after he had just scored. Rooney will hope to keep the momentum going prior to the City clash.
Striker- Anthony Martial
Martial, who played more so on the wing this past weekend, may be deployed back to his striker position so that he can net some much needed goals for himself and the club.