Manchester United’s lottery of choices ahead

Plenty of parallels exist between playing the lottery and Manchester United’s current state, not least because at this stage in Louis van Gaal’s debut season as manager of the club, the Dutchman finds himself with a rather embarrassing amount of injuries. Jonny Evans, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and summer arrival Marcos Rojo have all spent time on the treatment table so far this term, at times leaving the club needing to take a gamble on Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett, both teenagers from the club’s academy. It’s made predicting the display of United’s defence impossible to predict; uncertainty has been rife with such an unfamiliar set-up occupying the spots directly in front of goalkeeper David De Gea, but as the many millions of people across the continent in top winning cities who consistently play the Euro Millions each week, perhaps it’s that risk, changing the familiar numbers or something different that brings its own jolt of excitement for those watching on.
Ahead of a Sunday week’s trip to the Emirates Stadium and a meeting with Arsenal, does Van Gaal dare to drop Robin van Persie after several unconvincing displays as the fulcrum of United’s attack? Picking the former charge of Arsene Wenger is low risk; dare he drop him in favour of youngster James Wilson or Radamel Falcao, should the Colombian be fit? Where should you place your money; in tried and tested games with a big reward, small odds or little risk? Or place a bigger stake on the line, and gamble on a smaller prize pot for a greater chance of winning? Football management and the playing the lottery are both intrinsically tied to taking risks, and once your decisions have been made and your selections cast, they render both helpless, watching on from the sidelines. Van Gaal has several big decisions to take before facing a stuttering Arsenal side; how many risks does he take in order to win big?

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