Potential Manchester United XI vs West Ham

Credit: lineupbuilder.com
Credit: lineupbuilder.com /

With just 16 fit senior players in the squad, Louis van Gaal has a number of decisions to make about his Manchester United starting line-up against West Ham.

Manchester United play host to West Ham United as they look to go back to the top of the Premier League with just 16 fit first-team players in their squad.

Manager Louis van Gaal revealed to the press that Marcos Rojo (dislocated shoulder) and captain Wayne Rooney (ankle) would miss the game at Old Trafford, joining Ander Herrera, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia on the injury list for the game.

With that said, the boss’ decision is slightly easier to make now as to a starting line-up however the formation is the big question mark over the side right now.

It’s expected that van Gaal will continue with a 352 system, something the fans despised last season and he brought back from the dead last weekend against Leicester.

Regardless of formation, David De Gea will be the goalkeeper. The Spaniard has put the summer transfer saga behind him and has carried over his form from previous campaigns to assert himself as the best goalkeeper in the Premier League bar none.

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In defence, a 3 man defence ultimately picks itself. van Gaal only has 3 fit central defenders to choose from with Paddy McNair, Chris Smalling and Daley Blind all available but the Dutch utility man is also an option at left-back. Should he go with a more traditional four-at-the-back system, van Gaal should opt for Blind at left-back and possibly push Ashley Young into a more advanced position.

At right back, van Gaal has a few more options. The manager has drafted in young Uruguayan Guillermo Varela from the U21’s and the right-back is expected to be on the bench, although he could push Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young for a shock start.

An injury hit West Ham’s big strength this season away from home has been counter-attacking through playmaker Dmitri Payet and striker Diafra Sakho. Both players are on the long-term injury list and it could see van Gaal opt to go for a slightly more attacking line-up.

Michael Carrick returned from injury last weekend and partnered Bastian Schweinsteiger in the centre of midfield, meaning Morgan Schneiderlin missed out once again. The Frenchman’s form had improved in recent weeks so he will be hopeful of a recall against a side who’s quick passing could cause the less mobile Carrick a few problems.

In the No.10 role, van Gaal has a multitude of options yet again. Andreas Pereira, Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini are all available and willing to play in their preferred role with the Spaniard expected to get the nod once again.

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Pereira is yet to start in the Premier League this season and has done well whenever he’s featured so may be deserving of a start now ahead of Mata, who’s struggled over the last month or so. However the magnitude of the game because of the pressure on van Gaal at the moment means he’s more likely to stick with the proven option in the hope he can provide quality in the final third.

Up front, no Wayne Rooney means that Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay are set to start together up front.

The boss will be delighted with the options he has up top as both offer pace, movement and excellent finishing but he could always surprise us all by flinging in Marouane Fellaini as the spearhead from the start, however unlikely that is.

Next: Rooney out of West Ham game

Credit: lineupbuilder.com
Credit: lineupbuilder.com /
Credit: lineupbuilder.com
Credit: lineupbuilder.com /