Manchester United start their 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign at home to Swansea City on Saturday in the 12:45 kick-off. The game marks new manager Louis Van Gaal’s first competitive game in charge of the Red’s, and the Dutchman will be hoping to bring United’s excellent pre-season from into the encounter after his side won all six games this summer.
United go into Saturday’s game having made just two signings so far this summer in the form of Ander Herrera and Left-back Luke Shaw from Southampton. Shaw is unfortunately unavailable for the fixture after being ruled out for up to a month with a hamstring injury, joining Rafael Da Silva and Michael Carrick on the side-lines. The Reds are facing a bit of an injury crisis, with striker Danny Welbeck still a doubt, along with both Antonio Valencia and Jonny Evans who may struggle to feature. Robin Van Persie is also unlikely to play any part having had no game time in any of United’s fixtures so far. With all this considered, this this how Van Gaal’s side may line up against Swansea City:
David De Gea should without doubt start between the sticks in this Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off. The Spaniard had an excellent season last time around, and having now fully cemented himself as United’s number one he will be looking to have another impressive campaign.
Both Phil Jones and Chris Smalling should be guaranteed starters this weekend having both played in Tuesday night’s friendly and with Jonny Evans facing a late fitness test. If Evans doesn’t feature, expect young Tyler Blackett to get the nod alongside the pair, the youngster has had a highly impressive pre-season. With Luke Shaw out injured, Ashley Young will fancy his chances in either of the wing-back positions, most likely featuring on the left if Rafael Da Silva can shake-off his injury in time. Otherwise, 20-year-old Reece James could also be in line for a start at left wing-back, another young player who has done his chances no harm this summer.
New boy Ander Herrera is a guaranteed starter after seemingly settling well into life in a red shirt so far, the Spaniard has looked a great addition so far during pre-season. New vice-captain Darren Fletcher should start alongside Herrera, the Scotsman seems to be a popular figure with the new manager and a full pre-season under his belt will have done him a world of good. In front of the pair Juan Mata should get the nod, United’s number eight will now relish being deployed in his favoured role behind the two strikers.
The new club captain Wayne Rooney is a certainty to start. The Englishman has been in lethal form during pre-season and should be buoyed by his new role. United’s fans will be expecting a big season from the 28-year-old this campaign. Alongside the captain, Javier Hernandez.
Predicted Starting Line-Up:
Jones, Smalling, Blackett;
Rooney (c), Hernandez.