After not registering a defeat in their previous five matches in all competitions, Louis van Gaal’s men ended up losing a dull and uninspiring match at Old Trafford last weekend against Southampton. With only one shot on target and a loss to a team that has sold their entire starting 11 the last two seasons, talk of van Gaal departing continues to dominate headlines.
The match with Southampton certainly proved that van Gaal has lost the players and now the supporters at Old Trafford. Boos rang down vicious and hard as the Dutchman made the walk from his technical area to the tunnel post match after the final whistle sounded.
Here is how van Gaal might right the sinking ship on Friday vs Derby County.
Although he did not have much to do in the loss to Southampton and is blameless for the Charlie Austin goal, David de Gea remains the star on the squad. The only player who has played world class football is a surefire bet to start in FA Cup action.
Chris Smalling and Daley Blind continued to be the preferred partnership for van Gaal and the duo have continued to remain steady for much of their tenure together. Blind will be asked to use his savvy footballing mind and distribution from the back to get the United attack moving forward.
With an injury to Ashley Young, United’s full-back options continue to remain thin, but Cameron Borthwick-Jackson‘s noteworthy performances have instilled some optimism. On the other side Matteo Darmian suffered an injury scare at Old Trafford, however, he seems to be find and will be patrolling the left side of defence.
Morgan Schneiderlin has been another key component and reason why United have not conceded too many goals on the season. Schneiderlin has rightfully taken his place as the best defensive midfield on the squad and will most certainly start once again.
Alongside Schneiderlin will be the Spaniard, Ander Herrera, whose lively feet and incisive passing must be counted on to aid in the attack.
Adnan Januzaj, fresh off his return from loan returned and played only four minutes in the loss to Southampton, but he should see his first start for United since the start of the season. On the other side of attacking midfield is Juan Mata, whose introduction at the start of the second half sparked some life into the United attack, which ended up eventually fading.
Andreas Pereira hasn’t featured in quite some time so this should be a good match to left the youngster create in the attacking midfield role.
Van Gaal tinkered with the formation last match-up in order to play Anthony Martial centrally, but he did not make the most of his opportunity. With Wayne Rooney set to be rested, Martial needs to take full advantage and get on the score sheet.
Via – Lineup Builder