Potential Manchester United XI vs Bournemouth

Credit: lineupbuilder.com
Credit: lineupbuilder.com /

With nine first-team injuries, Louis van Gaal must decide on a starting line-up for his Manchester United side ahead of their trip to Bournemouth.

Manchester United travel south to Bournemouth on Saturday evening as they look to put an end to a miserable week by claiming three points in the Premier League.

Louis van Gaal’s men were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League with a 3-2 defeat to Wolfsburg in midweek following a 0-0 draw with West Ham at Old Trafford last weekend.

The boss has admitted that the Reds are in a rough patch at the moment but now with nine first-team players unavailable for the weekend game, he must make some big decisions ahead of this big game.

David De Gea will, as usual, continue in goal for Manchester United. The Spaniard has been in tremendous form so far this season and could do nothing about any of the Wolfsburg goals in midweek, although he made a few top saves to reduce the damage on the scoreline.

Defence is the big worry for the Reds this weekend though.

Chris Smalling and Matteo Darmian have been ruled out with groin and hamstring injuries respectively, joining Marcos Rojo (shoulder), Antonio Valencia (foot), Phil Jones (ankle) and Luke Shaw (broken leg) on the sidelines for the time being. While Louis van Gaal believes that Smalling and Darmian will likely return before Christmas, they are definitely not going to be able to feature against Bournemouth which means yet another chance for youth.

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Guillermo Varela made his full debut against Wolfsburg in midweek after coming on as a substitute against West Ham for his first senior appearance for Manchester United last week. He’s expected to continue at right-back after the boss admitted he was very happy with his performances in those games.

With Smalling, Jones and Rojo all unavailable for the game, Paddy McNair is expected to come into central defence alongside Daley Blind. The Northern Ireland international came into the side in the last few weeks from the wilderness as van Gaal resurrected the 3-5-2 formation but he struggled and was criticised by the boss. He was put out to right-back against the Hammers but struggled before picking up a knock. He now has another chance to impress in his preferred position but van Gaal is known to rate youngster Axel Tuanzebe very highly. The young Congolese defender has been in the match-day squad once before this season and while he didn’t play against Crystal Palace, he has every chance of a shock inclusion against Bournemouth.

At left-back, van Gaal has a couple of options. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson came on as a first-half substitute for United during the defeat to Wolfsburg after Darmian’s injury and he impressed yet again. However, with Paddy McNair or Axel Tuanzebe set to deputize in the centre of defence, van Gaal could be tempted to use Ashley Young in defence once again to add a bit more experience to the side.

In midfield, Manchester United are without Ander Herrera and Bastian Schweinsteiger for this game. The Spaniard has resumed training this week following his hamstring injury but the boss says it’s too soon for him to make a return to the side, while Schweinsteiger is serving the first leg of his three game suspension for violent conduct.

There has been a suggestion on social media that Morgan Schneiderlin is fit to play but Louis van Gaal’s comments during the press conference suggest he won’t play, meaning Michael Carrick is set to be partnered in midfield by Marouane Fellaini.

Sean Goss could make an appearance for United at some point during the game but it’s highly unlikely that he will make his full Premier League debut in this game.

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The front four, at this stage of the season, picks itself.

Jesse Lingard has become a mainstay on the right wing for Manchester United in recent weeks due to his pace and directness, while Memphis has improved in recent weeks since coming back into the fold. The Dutch winger scored on his return to the side in a lone striker role but has since been moved back out to the left wing. He impressed against West Ham as a substitute but struggled against Wolfsburg, so it could be time for him to show the fans what he’s all about once again.

Juan Mata played in the No.10 role against Wolfsburg and had his best game in over a month, getting the assist for Anthony Martial and helping to create a number of chance throughout the game. The night was summed up by his odd substitution, where he was replaced by the returning Nick Powell as they searched for a late goal.

The English forward is likely to start on the bench once again but could be used as an option as back-up striker in that attacking midfield role or as a striker if he’s needed, while Anthony Martial is sure to continue in his role as the No.9 and will hope to kick on after notching his first goal in fourteen games in midweek.

Next: van Gaal says NINE players unavailable for Manchester United

The Reds’ clash against Bournemouth will kick-off at 17:30GMT.

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