The Red’s face Italian opponents Inter Milan in the early hours of Wednesday morning as they face their third test of pre-season having already chalked up two victories on the tour so far. The game will match United up against a familiar face in Nemanja Vidic, with the ex-skipper leaving the Red’s for Milan earlier in the summer.
Van Gaal has again stated in the build up to the game that he wants to give every player a chance, and he has already confirmed that Wilfred Zaha will get his first bit of game time on the tour when he will feature as a striker in the second-half. Rafael Da Silva has unfortunately flown back to Manchester with a groin injury so he will be unavailable for selection and Van Gaal has already revealed that he plans to stick with the 5-3-2 formation for the remainder of the time in the States. Here’s how United may line up against Inter:
All four keepers on tour have had 45-minutes under their belt now, as a result today Ander Lindegaard would be set to return between the sticks and could well be given the full 90-minutes.
Van Gaal has already stated that Chris Smalling will play the full game and it is rumoured the Englishman may even be handed the captaincy for the match. Jonny Evans is likely to play alongside him after the new manager has admitted being impressed by the 26-year-old on tour so far, and Phil Jones will also expect to start after youngster Tyler Blackett was given the full 90-minutes in the game against AS Roma. I then expect Ashley Young to start in the right wing-back position after the manager has publicly praised the Englishman, and despite being publicly criticised over his fitness I expect Luke Shaw to come in at left wing-back after he started on the bench in the last game.
After sitting out the last game Darren Fletcher should be a certainty to return in the centre of midfield, and Ander Herrera will hopefully get another chance to give United fans the opportunity to see him in action after only featuring in the first 45-minutes against AS Roma. In front of the pair Juan Mata will get the nod again in my opinion as it seems Van Gaal is giving both the Spaniard and Shinji Kagawa 45-minutes each to impress.
Wayne Rooney may well start up top again after the striker has impressed with four goals so far on tour after featuring in the first-half of both encounters so far. I then expect Danny Welbeck to get a proper opportunity to showcase his ability and come into the side to partner this fellow Englishman. This should leave a partnership of Wilfred Zaha who the manager has stated will play the second half, alongside Javier Hernandez after half-time.
Predicted Starting XI
Jones, Smalling, Evans;