Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is poised to drop four of his players for Saturday’s Premier League fixture against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.
This is according to the Mirror, who understand Antonio Valencia, Paddy McNair, Daley Blind and Juan Mata could all find themselves relegated to the subs’ bench following disappointing performances against Everton at Goodison Park last weekend.
United were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by the Toffees and the angered Van Gaal is expected to ring the changes for this weekend’s fixture.
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Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney could be the fifth change, with Robin van Persie waiting in the wings, although the versatile forward will start if the knee injury he sustained against Everton turns out to be less serious than first feared.
Rooney endured a poor outing against his former club last weekend, but was by no means the only poor performer on the away team.
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Jones, Carrick, Rojo and Di Maria in
It’s understood Van Gaal singled out Valencia and Blind for criticism, and the duo are expected to make way for Phil Jones and Michael Carrick on Saturday afternoon if both are declared fit.
The young McNair, meanwhile, is set be dropped in favour of Argentina international Marcos Rojo, who last appeared for Manchester United during the 4-2 win over City earlier this month.
Rojo could be joined by his compatriot Angel di Maria in the starting line-up; the former Real Madrid star has not started a Premier League match since the 1-0 victory against Newcastle United at the beginning of last month.
United expected to secure top-four finish
Fortunately for United, who currently sit fourth in the Premier League table, fifth-placed Liverpool were unable to capitalise on their rivals’ slip up at Goodison Park.
Brendan Rodgers’ men suffered a 1-0 defeat to Hull City on Tuesday evening, meaning United still possess a healthy seven-point advantage over the Merseyside outfit with four matches left to play.
In order to achieve his primary objective of ensuring Manchester United qualify for next season’s Champions League campaign, Van Gaal must secure five points from the next four matches, presuming Liverpool secure maximum points from their remaining fixtures.
After their match against West Brom, United face a difficult away trip to Crystal Palace, before returning to Old Trafford a week later for a crunch clash against Arsenal.
They take on Hull City on the final day of the season, but United should have Champions League qualification wrapped up by that point.
Which players should Louis van Gaal drop this weekend? Have your say in the comments below!
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