Louis van Gaal has already revealed some of his starting eleven for Manchester United’s match against Everton on Sunday - but that won’t stop us from speculating on the rest.
Paddy McNair is set to start in defence as he’s the only player familiar with playing the right centre-back position that’s left standing at the club, according to van Gaal. Expect him to partner Marcos Rojo in central defence with Luke Shaw and Rafael occupying the full-back positions.
That’s all fairly non-controversial, with David De Gea in goal of course. Where it gets more interesting is in midfield, where all of a sudden Van Gaal has several options.
The case for Mata
Januzaj a worthy selection?
Assuming he continues with his diamond formation, with Wayne Rooney out injured the United boss will turn to Juan Mata. It’s the safe choice but Van Gaal may also want to consider playing Adnan Januzaj in the role.
The Belgian international has been in inspired form for the club’s under-21 side, and would flourish in a central attacking position - a role he’s rarely played since breaking into the first-team a year to the day on Sunday.
Marouane Fellaini will be itching to make a good impression against his former club, and he would offer a strength in central midfield that United’s other options lack. Perhaps if this game was at Goodison Park he may be considered, but at Old Trafford Van Gaal will be going for the jugular and that means Angel Di Maria, Danny Blind and Antonio Valencia should start.
Ander Herrera is out with fractured ribs, and the safer choice may be Darren Fletcher instead of Valencia - but we prefer the attacking Ecuadorian.
So, ahead of Mata the front two picks itself with the club captain out suspended - Radamel Falcao and Robin van Persie up top.
Here’s the predicted lineup in full…
De Gea, Rafael, McNair, Rojo, Shaw, Blind, Valencia, Di Maria, Mata, Van Persie, Falcao
What do you think - would you go with Januzaj, or maybe Fletcher deserves a spot in the team ahead of Valencia?
Have your say below...