Manchester United predicted XI - Crystal Palace: Familiar faces for van Gaal's side

Manchester United will be playing away at Selhurst Park this weekend for their Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace. The match is a bounce back from the disappointing Capital One Cup runs for both of the sides, both going out earlier on in the week. Here are the possible United starting eleven, that may be named by Louis van Gaal ahead of kick-off.

David de Gea

The Spanish goalkeeper does not have a great amount of clean sheets under his belt this term but he will need to feature in this game to add confidence in the backline. Sergio Romero, who played in United’s cup-tie against Middlesbrough in the week didn’t exude confidence at all. At one point in the game, he almost played it into his own net. Louis van Gaal won’t take that lightly and the Spaniard will overthrow the Argentine yet again and take his place in United’s goal.

Matteo Darmian

In the fans' opinion, Darmian should be the club's first-choice right back but van Gaal seems to be sticking with the idea of making Antonio Valencia into a fully-fledged defender.

The Ecuador international probably won’t feature in this game as he picked up an injury against rivals Manchester City last weekend. He will need a rest anyway due to the amount of consecutive games he has played.

The Italian will go face-to-face with the likes of Yannick Bolasie and Darmian has the pace and strength to deal with him. The only problem may be that he has rarely featured in the past few weeks, apart from a cameo appearance at Old Trafford last week. 

Chris Smalling

This is the first name to appear on the team sheet for van Gaal. The English centre-back has been Manchester United's best player thus far and looks to continue that way. He has been one of the most consistent players, not only for United but also, in the Premier League. It is just the case of who he will be partnered with. 

Smalling plays differently with different players. He could be matched with Phil Jones, because of this, he will leave Jones to fend for himself and stay out of most of the physical battles. But, if Daley Blind is playing, he will step up and be the rock at the back.

Phil Jones

After impressing van Gaal earlier in the term, Jones has finally come back to be the consistent centre-back they were hoping for. As previously mentioned, he has the ability to fend of almost anyone who comes close to him and he has the pace to get back and chase someone if need be.

He handled the threat of Wilfried Bony last weekend and was successful in keeping a clean sheet. van Gaal seems to like the Smalling and Bind partnership so he has a left footed player and right-footed player at the heart of the defence. What Jones gives you is versatility, he allows Smalling to roam away from his position, as knowing that Jones will cover the ground.

Marcos Rojo

With Luke Shaw out of action, this wasn’t a hard pick. Of course, Van Gaal has ran with Valencia at right-back and Darmian at left-back but he can't even do that this weekend. Due to Valencia picking up a knock, Darmian will start on the right, which means that Rojo is the only option to start on the left.

The manager could pick Blind for the left-back position but, he hasn’t excelled in the past there. Also, the only reason he would drop the in-form Rojo at the moment would be because of fitness and fatigue.

Morgan Schneiderlin

This was another easy pick for the line-up. Van Gaal won’t risk leaving the ex-Southampton player out of the side. He has been too important to United in past weeks and has held the midfield together.

Some would go to the extent to say that Schneiderlin hasn’t had a bad game for United so far and that is a bold claim for someone who is tasked with looking after the backline of a team. The person who he is teamed up with is a tricky decision but the French international is a constant pick.

Michael Carrick

Either Bastian Schweinsteiger or Michael Carrick could take this position but for this game, Michael Carrick would be the best pick for this game. Albeit, Schweinsteiger may make an appearance as a substitute but Carrick should start. Both of these players have the ability to run the middle of the park and either of them would be good enough to play against Crystal Palace.

Carrick hasn’t played in a few games and Van Gaal will want to get him playing again. The German option may suffer from fatigue in the games and this would be his chance to get a break.

Juan Mata

Considering Van Gaal doesn’t like to change his ‘system’ a lot, Mata will probably stay in the side. He has been a great inclusion in the side this season and has been the key playmaker in the side.

It would line up with what happened in the mid-week game against Middlesbrough as he was rested. In that game, Andreas Pereira took his place in his first start in the main side this season. Unluckily for him, and other youth players, the side fell short of the requirements to win the game and they were knocked out of the cup after a penalty shoot-out.

Wayne Rooney

Fans would be unhappy if the England record-breaker wasn’t in the line-up. Of course, he hasn’t been playing to his best capabilities but he will hit his stride at some point. Leaving him out of the side won’t lead to much development. He is a born leader and needs game time.

Some may not want him to start but they will be unhappy if he isn’t included at all. Van Gaal will see the frustration in Rooney and the urge to break his duck. This will give the United side some strength and force. He always wants to make the side better and this is the reason why he will be included.

Ander Herrera

This wasn't that hard to pick due to van Gaal admitting that Memphis Depay is out injured. Of course, Depay would have been the better pick, if he was fit, due to his pace but Herrera adds a passing style of play that allows United to break defences down.

Whether it will affect him or not, he wasn't included in the midweek fixture against Middlesbrough so his fitness should have peaked once again. This player will boost the fans' enthusiasm on the game as the Spaniard is seen as a fan favourite.

Anthony Martial

Martial is the only striker at the club at the moment that has the ability to score. The recent signing for United has proven his worth since arriving at the club as he has scored a total of five goals and has provided brilliant build up play for others.

James Wilson could have been placed in this position but he was played midweek. Van Gaal may not have been impressed with the way he played as he was taken off at half-time. This could either have been a way of saving fitness to play him this weekend or maybe, he wasn’t happy with how he'd performed during the match itself. 

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