Manchester United have looked like a 5th place Premier League finisher, but there is still a chance that Louis van Gaal could raise a trophy during his lackluster time in charge at Old Trafford.
Despite some exit talks already taking place at United, the squad will have to put the uncertainty of key players behind them in order lift the FA Cup this weekend.
United enter the final favorites over Crystal Palace and in slightly better form having defeated Alan Pardew’s team 2-0 just over a month ago at Old Trafford.
Here is the strongest possible Manchester United lineup for the encounter against Crystal Palace –
David de Gea will be starting in goal once again and with rumors swirling about the possible exit, this could be his very last match in a United kit. After having nothing to do in the Bournemouth game, he’ll need to be back to his best for the cup final.
Timothy Fosu-Mensah is set to miss the final after picking up an injury and with a solid showing this past week, van Gaal does not seem like he will make any changes to the back four. We will be seeing Antonio Valencia and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson as the full backs on the day, with the latter impressing at Old Trafford this past Tuesday.
There has been a few hiccups between Chris Smalling and Daley Blind but for much of the season these two have been fairly consistent in front of de Gea and both will get the nod once again. After costing de Gea the Golden Glove award with an own goal, Smalling will want to put in a solid shift for his Spanish keeper.
In midfield, van Gaal will most likely keep Michael Carrick as the defensive midfielder in what could be his very last game for United. Carrick had an average game at Old Trafford but did make some noise with a cracker of a shot that rattled the Bournemouth crossbar.
In the center and attacking wide areas van Gaal will introduce Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial. Martial was not at his best against Bournemouth but with the bright lights of Wembley this weekend he’ll have another chance to to power the Red Devils to victory.
Given his form and lack of attacking options, there is little doubt that Marcus Rashford will leading the attack this weekend. The emergence of Rashford has been one of the bright stories this season and the young Englishman will hope to capitalize on his stellar match at Old Trafford during the week.