David Moyes will be hoping for a reaction from his team after they dropped their first points of the season in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea, which they probably should have won.
Considering the importance of this match and the value it holds with United’s fans, don’t be at all surprised to see an emphasis towards experience, similar to what we saw with United’s line-up for the opening game of the season at Swansea City.
GK – David De Gea
De Gea is a far better goalkeeper than the young man who joined the club from Atletico Madrid and he’s still far better than a lot of people give him credit for. His ability to produce world class saves from out of nowhere makes him a valuable asset to have in the side.
RB – Phil Jones
There doesn’t seem much reason to move Phil Jones from right back as he continues to deputise for Rafael. Moyes knows what he’s going to get from Jones which is an efficient defender and someone who is competent going forward to provide extra width in attack.
CB – Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand has to play because he’s experienced this fixture and this sort of pressure so many times already in his career. He won’t be at all flustered by the abuse from Liverpool supporters and he’s as good as any other centre back in the league when it comes to defending near his own penalty area.
CB – Nemanja Vidic
United’s captain has to play if he’s fully fit because of the aggression and leadership he guarantees. There are going to be spells in this game where United are right up against it and Vidic is superb when getting on the end of 50/50 balls, clearing his lines and generally setting the right example.
LB – Patrice Evra
The Frenchman has to play because he’s exceptional in creating width down the left side of United’s attack. He also seems to have worked on his defensive weaknesses from last season, tucking inside a lot more when United are under pressure and closing the gap between himself and Vidic.
RM – Antonio Valencia
Valencia already looks like a better player than the one who played for United last season. He seems to be more consistent in the opponent’s final third and he offers extra protection in defence when the side are under pressure. His pace is always a handy asset to have on the counter attack.
CM – Michael Carrick
Carrick’s ability to occupy space, cut off angles and read the game means he will probably be the first midfielder down on the team sheet for Moyes. He also injects extra experience into the side, which is important as this is Moyes’ first experience of this unique fixture.
CM – Shinji Kagawa
One change that Moyes could make is to put Kagawa into the middle of United’s team as the player who will set the pace and control the tempo of United’s attacks. He’s also superb in terms of possession and keeping the ball, which is a basic tactic that United need to be successful at.
LM – Danny Welbeck
Welbeck of course isn’t an out and out left midfielder but it’s a role he’s done superbly for United in recent times. He also has the ability to get forward and provide support to a sole striker or pair of strikers when United have a spell where they can build a little bit of pressure.
AM/ST – Wayne Rooney
Rooney’s performance against Chelsea last Monday means it will be very difficult for Moyes to drop him. The way he connects the attack and the midfield, linking up with Robin van Persie in attack is world class. Similarly to Kagawa, he’s also a player brilliant in terms of possession tactics.
ST – Robin van Persie
It would be a major surprise if van Persie doesn’t start this match for United. His improvisation, his movement and his deadly nature inside the opponent’s penalty area are all reasons he needs to play this match. He wasn’t at his best against Chelsea and should be looking to put that right.
What do you think? Who do you expect to see in the team?
image: © vagueonthehow