Potential Manchester United XI vs Norwich

Credit: lineupbuilder.com
Credit: lineupbuilder.com /

With no wins in five games, Louis van Gaal must pick a Manchester United team ready to take all three points away from Norwich at Old Trafford.

As Manchester United look to make take their first win in six games against Norwich this weekend, Louis van Gaal must make a decision about his starting line-up to ensure the job gets done.

With so many injuries and the pressure beginning to pile up, every decision that he makes at the moment is being scrutinized so for fans to be 100% behind him before a ball is even kicked he must get the team selection right.

In goal, there is only one choice. David De Gea spoke this week about the Manchester United dressing room being ‘united’ and has been a mainstay in the Reds goal all season. Since he signed a new deal in September, De Gea has started every Premier League game this season and has continued his phenomenal form from the last two years to establish himself as the greatest in the division.

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In defence, van Gaal recently started with one of the most makeshift defences in United’s history when he was forced to start Guillermo Varela, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Paddy McNair alongside Daley Blind against Bournemouth. Since that game though, van Gaal has been able to call on Phil Jones and Chris Smalling who have returned to fitness which means he has a much more solid back line for this weekend.

At right-back, Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian are both still missing through injury and that has allowed young Uruguayan Varela to step in an impress. He did well during his substitute appearance against West Ham before showing his ability in the games against Wolfsburg and Bournemouth from the start. While he showed to be a bit rash defensively, going forward he was a threat and with more game-time he can start to fine tune his defensive ability to really push on as an option at full-back.

At left-back, Borthwick-Jackson was impressive too. He showed good positioning and a willingness to get forward, but you can see how raw he is. He struggled for pace and physically struggled against Matt Ritchie. While there’s obvious potential there, van Gaal would be smart to shift Daley Blind across to full-back and bring in both Chris Smalling and Phil Jones to the centre of defence in this game.

In midfield, van Gaal finally has a choice. Bastian Schweinsteiger is still missing from the side through suspension, meaning Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini could continue as the two holding midfielders. However with Morgan Schneiderlin and Ander Herrera back from injury, it’s unlikely.

After struggling with his defensive stability in recent weeks, the boss is likely to be tempted to reinstate the Frenchman to the starting line-up. This type of game has been screaming out for Ander Herrera this season but with the Spaniard returning after four weeks out with a hamstring injury, van Gaal has hinted that he may not start the game so Schneiderlin has the nod to partner Michael Carrick.

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Ahead of those two, van Gaal can finally welcome back Wayne Rooney. The England skipper has been out since the draw over West Ham with an ankle injury but Louis van Gaal confirmed during his pre-match press conference that he has been training all week and is set to return at Old Trafford.

The manager also revealed that his job isn’t safe either, following the sacking of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea this week, and says that unless results pick up soon he could face a similar fate. With Wayne Rooney back in the side, he will be hoping that the England man can regain some form this season and fire his side to glory.

On the wings, Jesse Lingard has made the right-hand side spot his own in recent weeks but a hamstring injury picked up against Bournemouth has seen him ruled out of this one. That saves van Gaal a dilemma in attack as Rooney’s return will likely see him replace Lingard in the starting line-up with Juan Mata set to move back to the right wing.

On the left, Memphis has been consistent in recent weeks and while he’s struggled for an impact is hasn’t been for a lack of trying. Ashley Young was on the bench against Bournemouth but didn’t come on due to a hamstring complaint and with van Gaal admitting he still hasn’t fully recovered, Memphis will continue in his preferred role out wide.

That means up front, Anthony Martial should continue. The French teenager had a mindblowing start to his Old Trafford career before going off course slightly. His goal in the Champions League games againts Wolfsburg was his first in fourteen games and he was unlucky not to get another against Bournemouth but his menacing ability on the ball seems to have returned and his pace will be key against Norwich.

Next: van Gaal admits his job isn't safe

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