Predicted Manchester United XI to play Arsenal - Mata must start centrally!

Match to be played on Wednesday 12th February 2014 at 19:45. Venue: Emirates Stadium, London.

Manchester United suffered a further setback over the weekend as they drew 2-2 at home against Fulham, dropping more points in their race to get to fourth place.

David Moyes has a huge challenge ahead of him, with United facing the task of trying to become one of the only teams to take points away from the Emirates Stadium this season.

Here’s the side Moyes could go with against the Gunners.

GK – David De Gea

The Spaniard will be disappointed with the way he handled the shot, which led to Fulham’s equaliser over the weekend. He’ll be determined to put in a commanding performance.

RB – Chris Smalling

Moyes may go a touch negative for this game, creating a defence he trusts which will start with Smalling playing at right-back.

CB – Rio Ferdinand

Ferdinand coming into the heart of the back four wouldn’t be a surprise. Arsenal play with one striker up front and Ferdinand shouldn’t be troubled by Olivier Giroud’s pace.

CB – Nemanja Vidic

Vidic has made it clear he’s leaving at the end of the season but he’s still the leader in the back four and someone United need to step up and dominate defensively in this game.

LB – Patrice Evra

Evra should be fine on the left with his experience allowing him to counter any pace Arsenal have down that side. He’s good enough to contain Bacary Sagna.

RM – Antonio Valencia

Juan Mata is wasted out on the right and Moyes should see the logic in bring Valencia back into the team. Valencia stays wide and his pace will be key down that side on the counter attack.

CM – Michael Carrick

Carrick is one of the best around when it comes to cutting off the angles, making interceptions and generally making it difficult for the opposition to play freely through the midfield.

CM – Ryan Giggs

Giggs guarantees that quality in the middle of the team. United can use him to dictate the pace and the power of their attacking play. He’s also got the experience to get into good positions when the side is in trouble.

AM – Juan Mata

Mata needs to be playing centrally because that’s where he’s at his most effective. He’s wasted in wide positions where his instinct is to come and get involved centrally.

LM – Adnan Januzaj

United need Januzaj in this game because he’s one of the few players in the side who can make things happen. His pace and skill on the ball can put the Arsenal defence onto the back foot.

ST – Wayne Rooney

Rooney is a better option than Robin Van Persie if Moyes goes with one up top because he’ll put in a better shift and work harder across the attack, dipping into midfield when he needs to.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch