MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — Robin van Persie is set to replace Radamel Falcao in the Manchester United starting lineup for Saturday’s English Premier League clash against Swansea City.
Van Persie missed Manchester United’s 3-1 FA Cup victory over Preston on Monday because of an injury, but trained with the full squad this week and is expected to replace Falcao in the attack for the game.
It is understood that manager Louis van Gaal wants to keep Wayne Rooney in the attack, rather than dropping him back into the midfield, and after failing to impress in his recent starts, Falcao is set to make way.
Meanwhile, versatile defender Phil Jones has handed the Red Devils another fitness boost ahead of Saturday’s trip to the Liberty Stadium.
Jones was forced to leave the game early against Burnley with a knee problem and missed the Preston game.
However, Van Gaal has revealed that the England international is available for selection.
“Jones and van Persie are fit to play,” Louis van Gaal said on www.manutd.com. “Only Michael Carrick is still injured.
“I think he shall train with the group next week. I expect that, but you never know. You’ll have to wait and see.”
Manchester United were beaten 2-1 at Old Trafford by Swansea City in the opening game of the season on August 16 and Van Gaal admitted that the result was shocking, given the form his team picked up during pre-season in the United States.
The Red Devils, although still struggling to find their best form and right formation, have managed to climb to third place in the league standings and sit just five points behind second place and defending champions Manchester City.
“We came from the United States where we had won everything, so that was a big shock (to lose against Swansea),” Van Gaal said, looking back on the opening-day defeat.
“After that we lost a lot of points even though we were the better team, because we couldn’t score enough at that time.
“I think that the confidence at this moment is the same as (after the tour).
“When you see the scores of the last 19 or 20 matches we are the best team in the league. So that is why I think confidence is also high like it was at the beginning.
“The players know and have experience of playing in the system with my philosophy.”
Manchester United fans have been voicing their disappointment at the overall performances of the club this season after the new boss spend some £150million on new players in the summer transfer window.
Van Gaal admits that his team can and should be playing much better, but added that winning games is all that matters at this moment.
“I am never 100 per cent happy,” he said. “We can play better but the main thing is to win your match, not to lose.
“We have shown this year a lot of times team spirit and that is very attractive for the fans but also for the coach, because then you can see a player wants to follow you.”