Manchester United, West Ham United, Arsenal, and Manchester City are currently all vying for the 3rd and 4th positions in the Premier League, while it looks as if Tottenham and Leicester City will be fighting for first and second place. With Arsenal seriously struggling at the moment, its becoming clear United’s best chance of sneaking into 4th place will be through a Gunners meltdown.
United, who are are currently sitting 5th, four points behind Arsenal for the 4th spot, will be welcoming Crystal Palace to Old Trafford for midweek League action.
With an FA Cup semi final match-up against Everton this coming weekend, Louis van Gaal will certainly look to rest some key players in order to keep the squad fresh. Van Gaal will have to be weary as United have taken points off some of the better teams this year, however, they seem to struggle against the bottom half of the table.
Here is the Strongest Possible lineup for the midweek clash against Crystal Palace –
David de Gea produced some heroics against West Ham but was largely anonymous in the 1-0 win over Aston Villa. United’s #1 may be in goal this Wednesday but I wouldn’t be surprised if he is rested for the Cup semi this weekend and we end up seeing Sergio Romero.
Out of favor Matteo Darmian could be seen as the right back against Palace, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah is rested for the Cup semi. Ashley Young, an unused sub against Villa will be the left back on the day.
Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo will be the center-backs at Old Trafford, while Daley Blind is given a much needed rest. Smalling had a solid match until late in second half when Villa started to throw bodies forward which made the England national a bit suspect.
Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini will sit in front of the back four. Carrick failed to make the bench over the weekend, so the United veteran should be good to go and put in a full 90 if needed.
Jesse Lingard will play behind the striker as the central attacking midfielder, being joined by the likes of Antonio Valencia on the right wing and Memphis Depay on the right wing. Valencia had a marvelous game on the right side of the attack, setting up Marcus Rashford with a well-timed cross which ended up being the lone goal scored for United.
Wayne Rooney impressed on his first start in over two months, setting up Valencia with a laser of a ball out to the right wing and opening up the scoring with the aforementioned goal by Rashford. Rooney will get the start as striker and should be asked to go the full 90, giving Rashford a rest ahead of this weekend.
Rooney will have big shoes to fill as Rashford has netted 7 goals in 12 games since making his debut a few months ago.