Manchester United predicted XI - Crystal Palace: Will van Gaal rotate just days before the FA Cup semi-final?

Manchester United have a busy week, up first is the Crystal Palace game at home on Wednesday followed by the big FA Cup Semi-final match against Everton on Saturday. What will the starting XI most likely be?

Manchester United predicted XI - Crystal Palace: Will van Gaal rotate just days before the FA Cup semi-final?
United players celebrating Rashford's winner | Photo: Tom Purslow/Man Utd/Getty Images Sport

Manchester United will face a Crystal Palace side that have been poor this season, picking up 39 points out of 34 match, and so the Red Devils will be looking forward to extend their home form in the league to six consecutive wins.

Louis van Gaal has six players who are still injured for Manchester United. The key players missing are Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who are reportedly out for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile Phil Jones and Ander Herrera will miss out on the Crystal Palace game but could have a chance of returning for the FA Cup Semi-final match against Everton on the weekend.

Players still out

The obvious injuries are Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who aren’t expected to return before the season finishes. Whilst Luke Shaw was given a return date just a week before the campaign ends, the full-back suffered a broken leg against PSV in a Champions League match at the start of the season. Meanwhile Schweinsteiger picked up a knee injury during the international break and the midfielder is aiming to return just before the Euros start.

Phil Jones has been out for quite a long time as well. The last time he featured for United was at the start of 2016 as the defender played 45 minutes in a 2-1 win against Swansea. Jones has returned from injury but is still working on getting back to full match fitness.

Ander Herrera picked up a knock during the FA Cup replay against West Ham last week and the Spaniard will not be risked against Crystal Palace. But could return to action for the next game.

Adnan Januzaj, who pulled a hamstring injury few weeks ago, is expected to return to training next week for the club. The Belgian international has only made four appearances for the Red Devils despite being on loan at Dortmund for a couple of months. Will Keane is currently on the mends for the rest of the season, the youngster completed a surgery last month after picking up an injury during the FA Cup game against Shrewsbury back in February.

Fosu-Mensah and Darmian to enter the defence

After another win at Old Trafford against Aston Villa last weekend, most players will keep their places. David De Gea is the first player that will keep his place especially in goal, the Spaniard wasn’t put to a big test in recent week. Antonio Valencia is expected to retain his place in the line-up with the full-black playing a key role in the game. His low pass to Rashford resulted in the side picking up all three points.

Matteo Darmian could replace Marcos Rojo in the left-back position. Rojo hasn’t been impressive in his past few games and Darmian has done well since returning from his shoulder injury.

Chris Smalling will most likely start in the heart of defence, the Englishman has improved as a defender superbly this season. Smalling could be partnered up with Timothy Fosu-Mensah, despite Daley Blind being a key player for the club this season, the Dutchman deserves his rest.

Fosu-Mensah has been fantastic since his senior debut and will be looking to play more minutes before the season is finished. Morgan Schneiderlin will more or less continue in defensive midfield role protecting the defence, whilst Marouane Fellaini will be prepared to partner up with the Frenchman once again.  

Chris Smalling, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Marouane Fellaini | Photo: Tom Purslow/Man Utd/Getty Images Sport
Chris Smalling, Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Marouane Fellaini | Photo: Tom Purslow/Man Utd/Getty Images Sport

Possible two changes to the front four

With an important game for van Gaal and side on the weekend, the manager will be expected to make some changes. Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could be expected to return to the line-up after being rested against Aston Villa, which would mean Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford would receive rest this time around. Lingard would return to the wings, a position he has being used in for most of the season.

Meanwhile, Martial might get the chance to play in a central role which seems to be his favourite position. Wayne Rooney was impressive in the number 10 role with the captain making his first start for the club since his injury. Memphis Depay could keep his place on the left wing after being a big threat against Aston Villa.

Predicted XI: De Gea, Valencia, Smalling, Fosu-Mensah, Darmian, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Lingard, Rooney, Memphis, Martial.