Predicted Manchester United XI to play Tottenham Hotspur - Rooney and Welbeck to return

Manchester United Old Trafford 2

Match to be played on Wednesday 1st January 2014 at 17:30. Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.

Manchester United face a huge test when they take on a revitalised Tottenham Hotspur side on New Year’s Day.

United have managed to put a decent run of results together but their home form hasn’t been great this season with several sides getting results at Old Trafford including West Brom and Newcastle United.

Phil Jones’ injury gives David Moyes at least one injury problem ahead of the game but the United boss is fortunate that his club have a very large squad. Here’s the side Moyes could go with for the game.

GK – David De Gea

De Gea is the number one at Old Trafford and the days of glaring errors seem to have left him. He’s an extremely talented and efficient Premier League ‘keeper who seems to be in the best shape and form of his career.

RB – Chris Smalling

Smalling should continue at right-back in the absence of Rafael. It’s a role he’s played plenty of times in the past and he looked solid against Norwich when the Canaries try to get at him as a possible weakness in the United back four.

CB – Nemanja Vidic

It’s a big ask for Vidic to play two games so close together but United need their captain to step up in the absence of Phil Jones. Vidic always gives 100% when he’s selected so Moyes knows he can trust his captain if he says he’s fit.

CB – Jonny Evans

Evans will be in the heart of the United defence for as long as he’s at the club. He reads the game well and offloads the ball quickly when he wins back possession for the side to release the pressure.

LB – Patrice Evra

Evra is in a similar position to Vidic in the respect that he sometimes struggles to perform to a high level in games so close together. However, United won’t want to take a gamble against Spurs which means he’ll play.

RM – Antonio Valencia

Valencia’s pace and experience as a right-back means he’ll more than likely regain his position on the right of midfield. He’s very quick going forward and he’s worked hard on his final ball and he’ll be fresh for this match.

CM – Michael Carrick

It’s a huge bonus for United to have Carrick back and available for selection. He does a lot of work off the ball when United don’t have possession and he’s a very sensible player when the side is attacking.

CM – Tom Cleverley

Cleverley is showing signs that he has turned his form around in a United shirt. He’ll be the player who pushes furthest forward to go and support the strikers and he’ll roam those gaps in between the midfield and defence.

LM – Shinji Kagawa

Kagawa offers control on the left and in a match against a team with the profile of Tottenham, that’s very important. He will be fresher than a lot of other players in the squad because he’s not played as much football so far this season.

ST – Wayne Rooney

Rooney missed the game against Norwich with a slight groin problem but he should return for this game. If he starts, then he’ll play that role just behind the main striker, dropping into midfield when needed.

ST – Danny Welbeck

Welbeck will be full of confidence at the moment and he’ll be straining at the leash to start following another goal against Norwich. Welbeck’s job is to simply sit on top of the defence and push them back, creating space for others.

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