MANCHESTER, Sporting Alert – After a busy summer of spending, Manchester United will get its English Premier League campaign underway against Tottenham at Old Trafford in the curtain-raiser on Saturday.
While Tottenham have been somewhat quiet in the summer transfer market, Manchester United have been busy rebuilding – adding the likes of Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero to their roster as manager Louis van Gaal looks to challenge for the title.
Players such as Nani, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao (who was on loan) have all departed Old Trafford, with van Gaal seeking to balance his squad for this season.
The Dutch coach has hinted that he will play a 4-3-3 formation this season and is targeting using more pace to matchup with some of the best in the league.
Manchester United have had a productive preseason, even though van Gaal’s men dropped its final game against Paris Saint Germain during the International Champions Cup.
Winger Angel Di Maria has also moved on after struggling to impress during his first and only season last term, but the future of goalkeeper David de Gea remains a distraction for the club and the fans would love for his details to be sorted out.
In fact, van Gaal revealed on Friday that the Real Madrid target goalkeeper will play, which means summer recruit Sergio Romero could be handed his debut for the club.
“It is not easy for David De Gea to manage his situation now,” van Gaal said at the pre-match press conference.
“You know that we have problems with De Gea. He shall not play, so I don’t have any concerns [about him this weekend].”
, in the meantime, have been handed a major boost in their goalkeeping department as first-choice Hugo Lloris, who started the month as a major doubt played against AC Milan in the Audi Cup and could return.
The Frenchman had been troubled by a wrist injury he picked up in the summer, but could play against Manchester United on Saturday.
Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is yet to make a decision over who will start in goal, with Michel Vorm still a possibility to start the season between the sticks.
In other Tottenham team news, Pochettino has decided to part ways with the likes of Etienne Capoue and Paulinho, who were no longer in his plans.
But defender Toby Alderweireld, who was on loan at Southampton last year, has decided to move to London.
Leading striker Harry Kane will be hoping to pick up from where he left off last season when he scored 21 goals in the Premier League and had four assists for an average rating of 7.28 from Whoscored.com.
Besides Kane, another big season is expected from playmaker Christian Eriksen and leading defender Jan Vertonghen, as Tottenham eye a top four finish.
Meanwhile, after losing to Swansea City at home in their season opener last year, Manchester United will be hoping for a better start in front of their home fans on this occasion.
It also remains to be seen who will start alongside Daley Blind at the centre-half position, as well as who will be the pair starting at central midfield.
Van Gaal admitted that Marcos Rojo and Schweinsteiger are unlikely to be in his starting team for the opener this weekend.
“We have no injuries,” he said on www.manutd.com. “It’s unbelievable!
“But it’s not possible for Rojo to be match fit as he was the last player to come back.
“Schweinsteiger came also at the last moment out of his holidays so I don’t think he is fit enough. We have to build the fitness he needs.”