United host Aston Villa in the lunchtime kick off on Saturday; the reds first game following Tuesday nights humiliating defeat to local rivals Manchester City. The Premier League now presents United with a competition with very little to actually play for, with Europa League football arguably not even worth fighting for. David Moyes will more than likely ring the changes after Tuesday night’s flat performance, and next week’s Champions League quarter final against current holders Bayern Munich is bound to be in the back of the Scotsman’s mind.
The early team news ahead of Saturday’s clash is that Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are possibly back in contention after facing short spells on the sidelines. Club captain Nemanja Vidic has also served his suspension for the red card he received against Liverpool and he should return to the squad. Then of course Robin Van persie will again miss out with his knee injury picked up against Olympiakos. With this all taken into consideration, here is the possible team David Moyes might pick on Saturday:
The Spaniard David De Gea is almost certain to start in the sticks again this weekend. United’s number one could do little about Tuesday nights goals and Moyes has also seemed reluctant to give back up keeper Anders Lindegaard much game time this season.
Phil Jones will more than likely keep his place at the heart of United’s defence come lunchtime on Saturday with Nemanja Vidic a real contender to come back into the side and partner the Englishman. Rafael Da Silva should start again at right back with United’s lack of any other real options, and I would expect Patrice Evra to start again at left back as a result of him being unavailable for Tuesday nights game against Bayern Munich. As mentioned, Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans may be available, but Moyes will most likely save their legs for Tuesday night.
The manager will undoubtedly be concerned with Tuesday night against Bayern Munich when it comes to picking his midfield. As a result of this, Ashley Young should return to the side after a decent performance against West Ham last Saturday, whilst Adnan Januzaj may make his first start in a few weeks on the left hand side for United. Michael Carrick should get the nod in the centre of midfield due to United’s lack of options and Darren Fletcher will most likely join him there with the Scotsman unlikely to play on Tuesday. The Spaniard Juan Mata is almost guaranteed to start in the number ten position due to him being cup tied for Tuesday, expect Shinji Kagawa to come into the side in place for him then.
This is a tricky one as once again Moyes will have one mind on Tuesday. You would expect both Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney to start in the Champions League, but Moyes also seems reluctant to give Javier Hernandez a start no matter what the situation. Wayne Rooney always seems to play better with a run of games, so Moyes will probably go with United’s highest earner up top come Saturday.
Predicted Starting XI
Rafael, Jones, Vidic, Evra;
Young, Mata, Januzaj;
Who do you think David Moyes will starting with against Aston Villa? Comment in the section below.