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Manchester United: Predicted line-up v Cambridge United

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Manchester United's star-studded squad make their way to the Abbey Stadium on Friday night - home of League Two outfit Cambridge United.

It's 24 years since the two sides last went head-to-head - in a two-legged League Cup clash in 1991 - but the gulf between the clubs has never been wider.

United strikers Wayne Rooney and Radamel Falcao earn more in a single month than the entire Cambridge United squad do in a year - and so anything less than a convincing win for the Red Devils will be deemed unacceptable.

Potential banana skin?

However, as we saw back in August - when Louis van Gaal's side were thumped 4-0 by League One side MK Dons in the Capital One Cup second round - an outcome involving David toppling Goliath is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Van Gaal, who has yet to convince since arriving at Old Trafford last summer, has some difficult decisions to make regarding his team selection.

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4-4-2 or 3-5-2?

First of all, does he switch to a 4-4-2 or stick with his increasingly unpopular 3-5-2 formation?

If the Dutchman is more concerned with limiting the number of chances Cambridge are presented with then United fans can expect the 3-5-2 formation to make another appearance.

Strong line-up expected

Because Manchester United have eight days until their next fixture - against Leicester City in the Premier League - Van Gaal should name a strong squad, so expect to see Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo in the back-three, flanked by Rafael and Luke Shaw.

The right and left wing-backs are available for selection again following recent injury lay-offs.

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes, meanwhile, should make his Manchester United debut after joining the club earlier this month. David de Gea will have a chance to put his feet up and have a well-deserved rest.

Friday's match will also be a chance to rest Michael Carrick, while Daley Blind could also sit out, as Van Gaal opts for a central midfield comprised of Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini.

Adnan Januzaj to start?

Adnan Januzaj, the out-of-favour Belgium international, is in desperate need of a start and may be handed a rare opportunity to shine as a No. 10.

Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Angel di Maria could all be named among the substitutes.

And they are likely to be joined on the bench by the fit-again Robin van Persie. James Wilson and the under-fire Radamel Falcao are poised to start in attack.

Manchester United: Predicted XI v Cambridge

Valdes; Rafael, Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; Herrera, Fellaini, Januzaj; Wilson, Falcao

Score prediction

Cambridge United 0-3 Manchester United

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
FA Cup
Manchester United
Victor Valdes

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