Five Manchester United players with huge roles to play in World Cup qualifiers

Antonio Valencia

Manchester United have several first team players under pressure over the next few days in World Cup qualifiers.

The international break has probably come at a bad time for David Moyes’ side because they were starting to build a little momentum following a hard earned win away at Sunderland.

United have several players off on international duty at the moment, who will need to produce some of their very best form as time is running out for countries to climb various group tables as they look to make the World Cup in Brazil next summer.

Here are five to keep an eye on.

Patrice Evra

Evra’s ability as a left-back is very clear but he has a job to do on a personal and emotional level next week.

France go into their final qualifying game against Finland with a slim chance of beating Spain to the top of their group, which means they are facing a play-off spot.

Evra’s job as an experienced player and a leader is to ensure that standards don’t drop and generally keeping other players motivated as heads may start to drop.

Antonio Valencia

Manchester United’s Ecuadorian winger will have a big role to play as his country prepare for matches against Uruguay and Chile.

Ecuador are four points away from Colombia in second place and ahead of Uruguay in the South American group on goal difference.

Valencia is a very solid winger, showcasing good pace going forward and a sensible football brain in defence, which makes him a key player over the next five days.

Danny Welbeck

If Welbeck starts for England tomorrow or on Tuesday, he’s unlikely to start in a normal attacking position.

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What’s more likely is that England boss Roy Hodgson will use him on the left side of midfield, which will require a great deal of discipline from the United man.

Welbck’s urge will be to get forward and move inside into central positions but he needs to offer Leighton Baines some sort of protection, demanding a more complete performance from Welbeck.

Wayne Rooney

Rooney is likely to start both of England’s games against Montenegro and Poland.

He’ll probably tuck in behind Daniel Sturridge, playing the same role that he plays for United on a weekly basis.

If England start slowly or even go behind in either of the games, he’ll have to grab the attack by the scruff of the beck as England are top of their group by a single point and play one of the side tomorrow that would love to go above them.

Javier Hernandez

Mexico did not play well during the last international break which has left them with a make or break game tomorrow against Panama.

Mexico sit in fifth in their regional qualifying group and they need to get into fourth place to have a shot at a play-off game against New Zealand.

Hernandez hasn’t had a lot of football in United colours but he remains one of the most important components of Mexico’s attack.

See also: Van der Sar praises De Gea: Can the Spaniard replicate his success?

image: © Magnus D

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