Football

Manchester United line-up for the new season predicted

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Who will start for Manchester United? (©GettyImages)
Who will start for Manchester United? (©GettyImages).

Louis van Gaal took charge of his first Manchester United press conference a week ago for a brief 22 minutes and his demeanour personified calmness.

He looked at ease and there were no signs of him being intimidated by being with one of the biggest clubs in football, unlike his predecessor David Moyes.

Known for being a tactician genius and an ardent believer of total football, lets take a look at my predicted formation and starting 11s which the United fans may have to contend with in the upcoming season.

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Formation (4-1-3-2)

Goalkeeper

Voted as the best United player last season, David de Gea will hold onto his place as the undisputed number 1 of the team. If it wasn't for his critical saves, United could have ended lower than seventh position.

Central defenders

Phil Jones & Jonny Evans

With Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand gone, United lack a experienced and settled centre back. There are rumours that they are in contention to sign Vermaelen from Arsenal and Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund, but no concrete statement has been given by the club so far.

As a result Jones and Evans will have to shoulder the responsibility of shielding their goal. Evans was hampered last season with injury while Jones looks set become a great centre-half, although his contribution last term was nothing but shaky.

Full-backs

Luke Shaw & Rafael da Silva

The left hand side will be manned by their new summer signing Shaw. He is young but has shown plenty of potential to become another Patrice Evra for the Red Devils.

He is fast and has great technique. His attacking intent should also suit Van Gaal's tactics.

The right-handside will undoubtedly be Rafael's. He has experience of playing that side and is usually solid and dependable.

The only problem for United is that they don't have any back-ups, although Chris Smalling can play at right-back. There is however no back-up for Shaw and it must be an area of concern for Van Gaal.

Defensive midfielder

Michael Carrick/ Tom Cleverley/ Marouane Fellaini

Carrick would be the preferred choice for this position, although Fellaini could stake his claim for the future. Both have totally different game-play but they are suited to playing at the back and shielding the back-four.

Fellaini can make surging runs and strong tackles while his heading capability with the added advantage of his height gives him an edge over Carrick. Carrick though can provide defense splitting passes.

Cleverley may be used sparingly in this position.

Attacking midfielder

Ander Herrera/Juan Mata

Both are class players and have great technical ability. They possess the ability to unlock any defence with their passing.

Mata is an all out attacking player while Herrera can hold the ball in midfield. With the tactical knowledge Van Gaal possesses, I think he will use both these players according to a set gameplan and strategy. Both will have a major role to play for the Red Devils.

Left wing

Adnan Januzaj/ Danny Welbeck/ Ashley Young

United fans would want to see Januzaj being played here for whole of the season but I think Van Gaal will use him with Welbeck, with Young as a back-up.

Welbeck will have limited opportunity to play at the front although his ability and understanding with Rooney to swap positions will be key. Januzaj is still too young to be played in all the games.

Right wing

Antonio Valencia/ Luis Nani/ Wilfried Zaha

Van Gaal will surely try Zaha in this position although Antonio Valencia is the man in possession of this role. Nani will also be used, although sparingly.

Forwards

Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie will take charge of leading the line with the former playing just behind the main striker. Although Van persie is injury prone, United have a good cover up in the form of Javier Hernandez for the position.

On paper, this United side looks likely to return to the Champions League and could even go all the way in the title race. However, there will be more competition than ever this season.

Agree or disagree? Leave your comments below.

Topics:
Manchester United
Danny Welbeck
Chris Smalling
Antonio Valencia
Jonathan Evans
Robin Van Persie
Wayne Rooney
Premier League
Phil Jones
Football
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