MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – With Manchester United set to open its 2015-16 English Premier League term against Tottenham on Saturday, Sky Sports takes a look at how Louis van Gaal might lineup for the curtain raiser.
Manchester United Formation: 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1
The Dutchman revealed before the preseason International Champions Cup clash against Barcelona that the lineup that started that game will more than likely face Tottenham, but he is expected to make some adjustment, following comments he made after the defeat to Paris Saint Germain.
Daley Blind and Phil Jones started as the centre-backs in that contest and were the starting pair again in the 2-0 defeat against PSG.
However, van Gaal wasn’t too happy with the performance of the latter against the French champions and it looks like Chris Smalling could come into the side to partner Blind, as the other real option for that position would be Argentina’s Marcos Rojo, but he’s out injured.
The Dutchman also noted that Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian will certainly be his starting full-backs, while David de Gea will be the man between the sticks.
Van Gaal stated that he will use a 4-3-3 formation this season, but the Manchester United formation will look more like a 4-2-3-1 setup.
Sky Sports, among other pundits, are predicting that Micheal Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin, who moved to Old Trafford and is already adjusted to the demands of the Premier League, will start as the central midfielders, with another summer recruit Memphis Depay playing just behind Wayne Rooney.
This means that Germany World Cup winner and former Bayern Munich midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger, who linked back up with van Gaal this summer, is set to start on the bench.
Playmaker Juan Mata and the new and improved Ashley Young are expected to continue out wide.
Club record signing Angel Di Maria on the verge of joining PSG after struggling to impress in his only season last term, so some of the competition on the right-hand side has been cut.
At the same time though Manchester United, according to reports, are also set to sign winger Pedro from Barcelona, as van Gaal look to add more pace to his attack.
However, the Spanish international is unlikely to play against Tottenham, even if the deal goes through before Saturday.
Van Gaal should also have a very lively bench as well with youngster Adnan Januzaj, Andreas Pereira and James Wilson all expected to be available for selection.
Javier Hernandez looks well set to stay at Old Trafford this summer with the manager ready to give him a chance to impress, while Antonio Valencia, Ander Herrera and Marouane Fellaini should be ready as well.