After a nerve wrecking game against Stoke at the weekend the Red Devils face Norwich in the Capital One Cup this Tuesday evening. This tournament has long been a chance for United to give the lesser used players a run out and this years doesn’t look like being too different. Moyes will be looking to get a run of wins and a win against Norwich will be important.
I would expect widespread changes from the team that started against Stoke at the weekend, Lindegaard is likely to start in goal with Vidic and Smalling making a return to the starting line-up in the centre of the defence. Evans and Jones have started the last two games in this position but coming off the weekends win it would seem a step too far to ask them to play again on Tuesday. Ferdinand is still making his way back from injury so doesn’t look like making an appearance. The left of the defence may be a chance for Buttner to show he deserves his place in the United XI after being dropped following a poor
performance against West Brom just a month ago. The aging Evra has played a lot of minutes this year so I would expect him to be given a rest as United have not got an array of talents in the position. On the right side of the defence may see Fabio make his return to the side, the Brazilian has seen opportunities few and far between as the managers has elected to give Jones, Smalling and even Valencia the chance when first choice Rafael isn’t available. This may be spelling the end of his time at Old Trafford but if he is to turn it around then a start and a strong performance against Norwich could be just what is needed.
The midfield is also unlikely to resemble anything like a standard United midfield, Michael Carrick tends to be the first name on the team sheet for Moyes but this may be a chance to give the midfield man a rest. Anderson has been used sparingly up until now but along with Cleverley is likely to be given his chance on Tuesday night. The right and left of the midfield should bring a smile to most United fan faces if my prediction is right, Januzaj has worked hard to make a name for himself of late and after not starting at the weekend should make a start against Norwich, he has the ability to play on both wings and I would expect him to start on the right with Moyes likely to give a first competitive start to the 15 million pound signing Wilfried Zaha occupying the left of the midfield.
Any possibility of risking Rooney and Van Persie should be shunned in my view, the importance of these two men during a tough start to the league cannot be underestimated. If either were to be injured then it would have a huge effect on our chances in the up-coming league games. Kagawa may retain his starting position in the XI with my expectation for him to start just behind Hernandez as a front two for United. This is all dependent on how fatigued the Japan International is after a two games in the last week.
Fabio Smalling Vidic Buttner
Januzaj Anderson Cleverley Zaha
This will surely be a tough test for whatever United team takes to the pitch on Tuesday night, but it should be a great opportunity for Moyes to learn a bit more about his squad.
Who do you think will be in the starting XI? Comment in the section below.