After a lackluster draw against Crystal Palace on Saturday, Manchester United will now focus their attention on Champions League football when they host CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Scoring goals has been a real problem for Louis van Gaal’s men, but they’ll hope to get back to their scoring ways in the familiar confines of The Theatre of Dreams.
The Manchester club is coming off back to back uninspiring draws in the Premier League, and currently sit at 4th in the table. In the first leg of the match CSKA Moscow, United battled to a 1-1 draw, but will surely be expected to put up at least 1 goal and win the encounter.
David de Gea has been nothing short of amazing this year and you could argue that his play has kept United afloat in the top four of the Premier League. He anchors the back of the defence that has been stingy for much of the year.
Matteo Darmian will be suspended for the next Premier League game against West Brom, so he should feature here, as van Gaal wouldn’t want him to not see game time for more than a week. The other option would be Antonio Valencia, who has been injured, but will most likely be saved for the weekend match when Darmian is out.
Daley Blind and Chris Smalling featured over the weekend, however, Phil Jones will most likely return after being rested. Blind and Smalling did a fine job, but the true partnership is Smalling and Jones.
Jones and Smalling will be dealing with a Moscow attack that is quite efficient, as the club currently sits at the top of the Russian Football Premier League. The two Englishman, who were once a laughing stock of the defence, now are two that United cannot do without.
Marcos Rojo has a tough time dealing with the pace of the Palace wingers on Saturday, but is the best option on the left side of the defence. He’s a good physical presence and will certainly be a thorn in the side for the Moscow attackers.
Michael Carrick should return back to the lineup after being rested over the weekend and will partner with Morgan Schneiderlin. Both should take turns providing cover for the back, while the other pushes forward and helps the attack.
Bastian Schweinsteiger, who featured over the weekend will most likely be rested and may make a cameo late in the match to rest Carrick’s legs. Schweinsteiger shows moments of class, but it’s certainly difficult for his legs to carry on for the full 90 minutes.
Juan Mata will be part of the United attack that has looked toothless over the last few matches. Mata started out outstanding over the weekend, however, he faded as the match went on and was subbed for Jesse Lingard. Lingard is an interesting choice, given Mata’s recent form and the former featuring more and more.
Ander Herrera was another player who had a tough match up over the weekend, and given the way that Louis van Gaal has notoriously given the Spaniard a short leash over the past year, this may be a make or break game for him.
Anthony Martial started on the wing over the weekend, but after a poor attack by United in the first half, he was asked to lead the line. However, the attack with Martial didn’t end up doing much either, so he’ll be deployed back on the wing. Martial’s best position is striker, but it appears with van Gaal’s tactics and conservative play, it won’t matter who gets to lead the line.
If this was an away match there would be a high probability that Wayne Rooney would be deployed in midfield or dropped for that matter, nonetheless, his goal scoring record at home has been good over the years, so he’ll be given another shot.
In order to be effective, he must stay in the Moscow box and not drift out to look for the ball, as he has done on numerous occasions this year. One of the main reasons his scoring has not come is because he has generally mustered zero or one shot for the majority of the matches, which is inexcusable for a forward with his quality.
Via – Lineup Builder