Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has plenty of selection headaches ahead of his first competitive match in charge against Swansea City, which serves as the curtain raiser to a Premier League campaign full of excitement at Old Trafford.
Van Gaal will surely hand a full Old Trafford debut to £27m summer signing Ander Herrera in central midfield, but has been robbed of the chance to do the same for Luke Shaw after the England international was ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury.
That leaves the experienced Dutchman with a decision to make in the crucial left wing-back slot, where both Ashley Young and youngster Reece James have impressed during an unbeaten pre-season campaign.
Shaw is just the latest defensive headache for Van Gaal, with both Jonny Evans and Antonio Valencia also ruled out along with six other players including Rafael and Michael Carrick.
Tyler Blackett is pushing to play in central defence with Evans out, alongside Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Van Gaal's preference for 3-5-2 means there's room for vice-captain Darren Fletcher to play in a midfield trio also featuring Spanish duo Herrera and Juan Mata.
Chicharito due his chance
Further forward Van Gaal's choices are slightly hampered by Robin van Persie's late return from the World Cup, which looks likely to provide Javier Hernandez the chance to impress that he has craved for more than 12 months in attack.
Hernandez should be partnered by new United captain Wayne Rooney, who looks primed for a a return to top form this season.
Swans offer resistance
Swansea City meanwhile should give Ligue 1 strike star Bafetimbi Gomis a debut to remember in attack, while their star of last season Wilfried Bony scored twice in three appearances against United, including a winner in the FA Cup at Old Trafford in January.
The dilemma of how best to make room for both Gomis and Bony while still giving Swansea a solid foundation to build on is one that must be on Garry Monk's mind, along with unleashing wing wizard Jefferson Montero on a massive pitch at Old Trafford.
With question marks surrounding the true potential of both teams it promises to be an intriguing start to the Premier League campaign, but one from which Van Gaal will be confident of making the best possible start by claiming maximum points.
Man United predicted starting XI (3-5-2): De Gea, Jones, Blackett, Smalling, James, Young, Fletcher, Herrera, Mata, Rooney, Hernandez
Swansea City predicted starting XI (4-3-3): Fabianski, Rangel, Williams, Bartley, Taylor, Ki, Shelvey, Sigurdsson, Gomis, Bony, Montero
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