Manchester United advanced to the 6th round of the FA Cup with a convincing 3-0 win over lowly Shrewsbury Town last night. First half goals from Chris Smalling and Juan Mata set the tone, while a second half goal from Jesse Lingard punched United’s ticket to the next round where they will be hosting a streaking West Ham United.
Now United will be returning home to host the second leg of the Europa League and will be welcoming Midtjylland to the Theatre of Dreams. With Champions League qualification looking grim at the moment, Louis van Gaal’s men will have to bounce back and look to outscore Midtjylland over the course of these two legs in order to advance and have a shot of winning this cup and qualifying for the all-important European Cup.
Here is the strongest possible lineup for United Thursday night –
Sergio Romero has started the last two matches while his world-class counterpart, David de Gea nursed some injuries. Although Romero has played well, van Gaal mentioned that he’ll hope to have de Gea back for this second leg match and with United trailing at the moment, de Gea’s importance cannot be overlooked and must start.
Chris Smalling, the first man on the score sheet Monday night, will partner with Paddy McNair in the center of defence. The savvy Smalling stayed forward and relinquished his defensive duties and it paid dividends as he smashed a bouncing shot past the Shrewsbury Town keeper.
The fullback positions are likely to be occupied by Guillermo Varela and Daley Blind. Blind returns to his left back role since Cameron Borthwick-Jackson was another casualty that was added to the ever growing injury list after the FA Cup match.
Michael Carrick was sat after failing to stamp his mark on the previous match, with Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera the preferred duo against Shrewsbury Town. Schneiderlin performed admirably bossing the midfield while Herrera did his best to help in the attack and providing an assist in the process. Both should start once again in the return leg.
Juan Mata, fresh off a man of the match performance where we saw him curl in a controversial free kick to put United up 2-0 right before the half, will be starting in the central attacking role while the wide men should be Jesse Lingard and Memphis Depay. Lingard picked up an injury as well, however, the second half goal scorer’s seems to be minor and should make the start, but Andreas Pereira will be waiting in the wings if the Englishman can’t go.
The spot for striker continues to get thinner as Will Keane, who was introduced for Anthony Martial late in the second half picked up a groin injury and should not be able to feature as a result. Martial played an average match against the lowly English side, but against an opponent like that the young Frenchman should have added to his goal tally.
Via – Lineup Builder