Predicted Manchester United XI to play Cardiff City - Mata to start, Rooney on the bench

Old Trafford 3

Match to be played on Tuesday 28th January 2014 at 19:45. Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester.

Manchester United boss David Moyes has some big decisions to make as his team prepares to face Cardiff City in the Premier League.

Moyes has to decide whether new signing Juan Mata goes straight into the team and whether it’s worth the risk bringing Wayne Rooney back into the starting side after a spell out with a groin problem.

Here’s the team Moyes could select for the match at Old Trafford.

GK – David De Gea

De Gea is the undoubted number one at United and he will continue in goal. He provides the back four with confidence because he’s effective making saves from all positions.

RB – Rafael

Rafael should continue in the right-back slot. He’s a very proactive and feisty sort of player who can get up and down the right hand side throughout the game.

CB – Phil Jones

Jones is one of the most versatile players in the current squad but this is a chance for him to settle into a more favoured and natural centre back role. It’s a chance for him to prove this is his position for the next few years.

CB – Jonny Evans

Evans has had to endure a little inconsistency in the last few weeks but he remains a very solid and capable defender. He’ll be important if Cardiff try to hit United with an aerial threat.

LB – Patrice Evra

Evra will guarantee there’s some experience in the United back four. He’ll keep everyone organised while getting forward to provide extra width on the left hand side when he can.

RM – Antonio Valencia

Valencia is another United star who has been a little inconsistent of late. He has the pace and skill to cause the left-back all sorts of problems but his final ball sometimes goes missing. This is another chance for him to prove he’s the first choice right winger.

CM – Darren Fletcher

Moyes will want someone sitting in midfield who can provide an air of calm and authority. With Michael Carrick suffering from an ankle problem, Fletcher has the right sort of experience and characteristics to fill in.

CM – Ryan Giggs

Giggs injects that experience and quality into the midfield which will be important with Carrick missing. He may not have the pace he once enjoyed but he can control the pace and flow of the game.

AM – Juan Mata

Don’t be surprised to see Mata thrown straight into the team following his £37 million move from Chelsea. His job will be to roam that gap in behind the striker, looking to create chances.

LM – Adnan Januzaj

Arguably Manchester United’s best player this season. He’ll stick out wide and work well with Evra but will also come inside to get involved centrally when he has the time and space to do so.

ST – Danny Welbeck

Welbeck’s job will be to occupy the Cardiff defence, trying to create space for the likes of Mata and Januzaj to take advantage of. He also needs to get into key positions to take advantage of any half chances.

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