Manchester United’s loss to Liverpool last week at Anfield in the Europa League first leg has set a big blow to the Red Devils qualifying for the quarter-finals. Liverpool’s squad had a rest on the weekend, having originally meant to play Chelsea in the league game but The Blues had to compete in the FA Cup against Everton.
United featured on the weekend, against West Ham in the FA Cup, went a goal behind through a Dimitri Payet free-kick but ended the game on a positive note as Anthony Martial equalised with ten minutes of the game remaining.
So the question is, who does Louis van Gaal trust for a big derby game?
Borthwick-Jackson, Jones and Rooney have a setback
Manchester United trio Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney won’t be returning from injury until next month. All three were meant to return before Easter, Jones and Rooney have been out for quite a long time too. Rooney picked up a knee injury during the match against Sunderland, Jones last played against Swansea at home which was at the beginning of February.
Youngster Borthwick-Jackson has taken his chances really well, the 19-year-old has stepped in from the reserve team due to players from the first team picking up injuries. Borthwick-Jackson last played in the FA Cup match against Shrewsbury was subbed off at half time, picking up a knock. He hasn’t returned since then.
Chance of seeing Schmidfield again
Morgan Schneiderlin was rested on the weekend whilst Bastian Schweinsteiger returned from injury coming on as a substitute to help provide an efficient role in ending their game against West Ham well. We could see both players returning at the heart of midfield, which seems to be our best midfield partnership.
This would mean Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini will have to settle for the bench, both player’s performances were heavily criticised by the United fans on social media. Schweinsteiger played in an advanced role when coming on against West Ham, the German international made United’s build-up play faster and the tempo of the game quicker.
Mata returns from suspension
Juan Mata picked up a red card during the West Brom game, which meant he couldn’t play in the FA Cup game against West Ham. Most likely, Louis van Gaal will place him back into the starting line-up for the Liverpool game. This would mean Ander Herrera who started in the attacking midfield role would get benched once again if Mata starts.
Predicted XI: De Gea, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Lingard, Mata, Memphis, Martial.