Manchester United, buoyed by last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, welcome Hull City to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, knowing three points will be enough to keep themselves inside the top four for a second successive week.
Not for the first time this season, however, United boss Louis van Gaal finds himself faced with something resembling an injury crisis.
Aside from a series of forced changes, the veteran Dutch coach is also expected to drop one of his highest-profile players due to his worrying lack of form.
Van Persie set for axe
Robin van Persie has failed to impress this season. The Netherlands international has looked a shadow of the player who inspired Manchester United to their 20th league title 18 months ago and is likely to be dropped in favour of either Radamel Falcao or James Wilson on Saturday.
There are several reasons why Van Gaal could start Wilson, who turns 19 on Monday, over the world-class Colombia international.
Wilson over Falcao?
Falcao only returned to training last weekend and Van Gaal will be keen to gently ease him back into the fold, rather than rushing him back. Wilson, meanwhile, made his Manchester United debut in this very fixture towards the end of last season - under the management of interim boss Ryan Giggs - and scored twice.
Wilson has looked extremely sharp in recent weeks, and the teenager could start in a 4-2-3-1 formation ahead of Angel di Maria, Adnan Januzaj and the in-form Wayne Rooney.
Midfield and defence
Ander Herrera could make his first appearance since last month’s 2-2 draw against West Brom, although it’s more likely that Van Gaal will play it a little safe by selecting Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini to start in central midfield together.
And in defence, Van Gaal must decide whether to start Ashley Young, Marcos Rojo - who could make the squad earlier than expected - or Tyler Blackett at left-back, with Luke Shaw out for up to six weeks with an ankle injury.
Chris Smalling should start in central defence alongside Paddy McNair, while Antonio Valencia will start at right-back if Rafael fails to recover from a muscle injury.
Manchester United: Predicted line-up v Hull City
De Gea; Valencia, McNair, Smalling, Blackett; Carrick, Fellaini; Di Maria, Rooney, Januzaj; Wilson
Manchester United 3-0 Hull City
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