Match to be played on Sunday 15th December 2013 at 13:30. Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham.
Manchester United head into this Sunday’s clash at Aston Villa hoping for a turnaround in fortunes and a transformed performance.
United have slipped down to ninth in their race to retain their title and make a Champions League place, failing to win in the Premier League since they beat Arsenal at Old Trafford last month.
David Moyes has a few injuries to worry about but expect to see a much more determined Manchester United side than the one that has appeared in recent weeks.
Here is the side Moyes could go with.
GK – David De Gea
The Spaniard is arguably the best goalkeeper in the Premier League despite his club’s position. He reacts to situations well, distributes the ball well and can make saves from a variety of positions.
RB – Rafael
Rafael should continue on the right hand side of defence. He gets forward well to support the midfield but also tucks in superbly and is a much better defensive player than the one who originally appeared under Sir Alex Ferguson.
CB – Rio Ferdinand
Ferdinand makes United a stronger back four because of his experience. He doesn’t have the pace he once enjoyed but tactically he’s very aware and offers good defence aerially if that’s the way Villa try to attack United in this game.
CB – Jonny Evans
Evans should continue alongside Ferdinand and he’s as good as any of the other central defensive options. He’s quicker so he’ll have to be on his guard because Aston Villa are a very quick counter attacking team.
LB – Alexander Buttner
Buttner will continue at left-back if Patrice Evra fails to shake off the knock which kept him out of the win against Shakhtar Donetsk. He has a point to prove that he can be Evra’s long term replacement.
RM – Antonio Valencia
Valencia should come back into the side to provide width and pace down the right of the pitch. He’s one of the quickest players around which will make him vital on the counter attack for United.
CM – Phil Jones
Injuries to Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini mean that David Moyes doesn’t have too many midfield options. Fortunately Phil Jones’ versatility means he can sit in the middle and offer some protection to the back four.
CM – Ryan Giggs
It’s always a risk to play Ryan Giggs for two games in a row because of his age but Moyes doesn’t really have a choice. If he goes with Tom Cleverley in the middle then there is a great deal of inexperience in the side and he needs someone with a bit of composure to control the tempo.
LM – Ashley Young
It will be tempting for Moyes to go with Nani or Adnan Januzaj on the left but Ashley Young boasts a little bit more composure in possession and a little more protection to Buttner.
ST – Wayne Rooney
Rooney will be named in attack but he won’t stay there if Aston Villa get on top. He’s good enough to drop into midfield and aid Jones and Giggs as United look to control possession and the shape of the game.
ST – Robin van Persie
Regardless of the speculation surrounding van Persie’s future, he’s still arguably the best attacking threat that United have. He needs to lead the attack with a lot of maturity and hold the ball up well because he could be isolated at times.