Manchester United play PSV Eindhoven, at the Philips Stadion, tonight at 19:45.
The Dutch team lined up last weekend in a 4-3-3 formation, as did Liverpool when they came to Old Trafford. The difference being that PSV won 6-0 and Liverpool lost 3-1.
Louis van Gaal has set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in every single game this season and is expected to once again against PSV.
Below is the predicted line up:
David De Gea
Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling, Daley Blind, Luke Shaw
Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger
Juan Mata, Ander Herrera, Memphis Depay
David De Gea should keep his place after a great performance in the Liverpool game, and continue his journey back to full match fitness. Not that he looked rusty at the weekend.
The back four will remain the same, why try to fix something that isn’t broken. The only reason it might change would be to give either Smalling or Blind a rest and let Marcos Rojo have some game time, but that might be better suited in the second leg, if United have won the group by that point.
One of the biggest shocks of the United line up at the weekend was that Schneiderlin was left out. He has been the best midfielder for the Red Devils so far this season, providing his distinctive style of protecting the back four.
Carrick was subbed off for Schneiderlin in the Liverpool to try to preserve the score line. There’s also the belief that Carrick’s England injury had flared up again. Bastian played his first full game for United and looks set to start alongside Schneiderlin against PSV.
Ander Herrera once again proved his worth with another great performance at the weekend. He’ll most likely start behind the striker again , and have fellow countryman Juan Mata to the right of him.
The left wing position will be a toss up between ex-PSV star Memphis Depay and van Gaal favourite Ashley Young. Depay was taken off at half time against Liverpool as he was struggling to make an impact despite having a lot of time on the ball. Ashley Young was subbed on for the Dutchman and not only won the free kick, that resulted in the first goal but, he also set up Anthony Martial’s debut goal.
Last season Ashley Young managed to muscle past Ángel Di María and take the world class winger’s position away from him. He could yet do the same to Memphis.
Anthony Martial is expected to start up top, not only because he is the only natural striker in Manchester United’s roster, but also because van Gaal’s next option, for some unkown reason, is Marouance Fellaini who was diabolical at the weekend.
Fellaini failed all across the board. He was put up top to get his head on the ball, threaten the net, or bring it down for the other attacking players. His lacklustre performance really summed up United’s striker issues.
Thankfully, like a beacon in the night, Anthony Martial came on and showed that he’s an incredible talent. Not only was his goal the result of a great piece of skill and a clinical finish but he also stayed as a striker for the duration of his pitch time.
With Rooney injured Martial is the only logical starter upfront for Manchester United unless van Gaal wants to give James Wilson a bit of game time before he goes out on loan, which is looking very possible.