The return to football after the International break at the weekend saw a close game with Southampton end in a draw. This was another disappointing result for Moyes, the longer the bad run goes on the harder it becomes to push the team in the right direction. The support for Moyes has been rather positive still however, fans will always complain but for the best part it seems that the fans are not worried that the appointment of Moyes may have been a mistake.
The team has seemed to struggle a lot in the midfield to create chances and keep the ball, Moyes will be hoping that the game against Sociedad will be different. In goal I would expect that De Gea will start with Smalling and Evans filling the centre of the defence. Rafael and Evra will likely complete the back four. Vidic and Ferdinand may be ready to make a return to the starting eleven, Moyes has said, “Vida and Rio are making good progress” but this would make me think that they may not be ready in time for the Champions League tie.
The midfield has started to settle into a familiar look of Carrick and Fellaini in the middle of late. In the Managers Press Conference Moyes said, “Danny Welbeck has a little bit of an injury from the Southampton game so we’ll have to see how he is. Tom Cleverley isn’t as bad as we thought. They both have a chance.” This is very good news for Moyes, Cleverley is unlikely to start but competition for places is always good and should push Fellaini to prove his worth more.
Danny Welbeck has been a reliable performer this season and may get a start on the left of the midfield, Januzaj is available for selection for the first time in the Champions League to Moyes and may cause a few headaches in that regard. The other option of Young may not cause Moyes too many sleepless nights however, Januzaj has been a revelation since the start of the season but this may be too much too soon for the youngster. I would expect that if Welbeck is fit to play then it will be him that starts the match with Januzaj getting his first taste of Champions League experience towards the end of the game.
The right of the midfield lately has been filled by the presence of Nani but with the threat of Sociedad this may be a time when Moyes errs on the side of caution and elects to start with Antonio Valencia. The question is whether or not Moyes will want to go for it and with this being his first campaign in Europe with Manchester United he may be thinking that the conservative option it best.
The odd man out of the midfield options is of course Shinji Kagawa, he’s a player with the ability to link the midfield to the front line but without a space to play in. Any selection of him across the midfield would be unlikely against Sociedad but with the ability the midfielder posses then at some stage Moyes may need to try find a way to fit him in or risk losing him. The obvious position to play him is behind the main striker, unfortunately that position is currently occupied by the best performing player at the club.
While the reviews of Wayne Rooney’s performances have been somewhat overstated in my opinion, he has still been the most impressive player at the club and looks like being our main threat in every game. Wayne should take up his now regular position up front alongside the Dutchman Robin Van Persie as the two will try to secure a much needed victory for the red devils.
Predicted Manchester United XI:
This isn’t going to be an easy game as no game in Europe ever is, but with the tie being played at Old Trafford and the ability in the team this should still be a home win.
Who do you think will be in the starting line up? Comment in the section below.