Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is ready to shock fans for the crunch Premier League clash with Liverpool today and start youngster James Wilson up front for what is being billed as the biggest game of the season so far for both sides.
Twitter has been awash with talk in the lead up to the match at Old Trafford between the old enemies, and one of those was Sunday People journalist Steve Bates, who has been a reliable source for Manchester United news this season under Van Gaal.
Bates claimed that Wilson was likely to start in attack alongside Robin van Persie in a front two, with Wayne Rooney behind them in an attacking midfield role. It would be a surprise move by the Dutchman, throwing the 19-year-old youth team star in to such a big fixture.
Playing a front two with Rooney behind them would suggest that Van Gaal is opting for the 3-5-2 formation he has occasionally opted for this season at Old Trafford. It worked in another big game, away at Arsenal, though the Red Devils certainly weren’t at their best at Emirates Stadium.
It was not only Bates claiming that Wilson was in line for a shock start against Brendan Rodgers’ side, BT Sport presenter Jake Humphrey was hearing the same talk, while the editor of prominent Manchester United fanzine Red News seemed confident on Saturday night.
Liverpool go into the game knowing a win would have a huge effect on confidence in a week that saw them eliminated from the Champions League group stage after a 1-1 draw against Basel at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Rodgers’ men are currently sitting ninth in the Premier League and nine points behind Manchester United and seventh defeat in the league this season would be a big blow to their top four hopes.
Meanwhile, Van Gaal needs a win to stretch United’s streak to six consecutive games securing three points and keeping them in touch with rivals Manchester City.