We predict Manchester United's starting line-up for their match on Tuesday night against MK Dons in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
Manchester United will be desperate to avoid embarrassment when they take on MK Dons in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night, determined to pick up their first win of the season.
The Red Devils have stuttered at the start of the new campaign – losing their opener to Swansea City, before drawing with Sunderland – and they now head into a potential banana skin of a cup-tie bereft of confidence.
It means that, although United would have likely given chances to a lot of their younger players in the League Cup in ordinary circumstances, the experienced stars may be expected to play against MK, as the club look to kick-start their season.
In this piece we pick the team that Louis Van Gaal may select on Tuesday evening.
GK – Anders Lindegaard
A regular in the club’s Capital One Cup games, he is likely to be given the nod ahead of usual first-choice David De Gea.
CB – Tyler Blackett
One of the few positives to come from United’s poor start to the season, Blackett’s performances in the heart of their defence have been better than some of his more experienced counterparts. He is likely to continue to keep his place.
CB – Phil Jones
With Chris Smalling a doubt due to injury, Jones may be the most experienced member of United’s three centre-backs and will need to step up and put in a performance to prove some of his critics wrong.
CB – Michael Keane
The youngster came on to replace Smalling against Sunderland and did a credible job. With Marcos Rojo still not receiving his work permit, he may be handed a start because of a lack of other options.
LWB – Ashley Young
Young was a star of United’s pre-season and adapted to his new position with great ease, but his performance was poor at the weekend. He will be looking to show that he is good enough to retain his place.
RWB – Antonio Valencia
A player who should be perfectly suited to this role, given his natural pace and power, Valencia grabbed an assist against Sunderland and will be hoping to continue affecting play at both ends here. Against lower league opposition he should be a major threat.
CM- Tom Cleverley
A player in dire need of a confidence boost, this game represents a good chance for Cleverley to gain some momentum. His performances have often been poor in a United shirt and he really needs to start making the step up.
CM – Adnan Januzaj
Van Gaal received criticism for using Januzaj in a central midfield position when he utilised him there on Sunday, but he has already shown he is not afraid to make bold tactical decisions. With Ander Herrera struggling for fitness, Darren Fletcher needing to be eased back into regular first-team football and a number of other injuries in the position, Januzaj may be required to do another stint in the centre of the park.
AM – Shinji Kagawa
Kagawa has failed to make an impact at Old Trafford, but could be handed a start here as he looks to impress his new manager.
Van Gaal had some pretty harsh words to say about the Japanese star when asked why he hadn’t used him during his reign so far in a central-midfield position, but this game could be just what the former Borussia Dortmund man needs.
ST – James Wilson
The youngster is the finest attacking talent in the club’s youth ranks at the moment and he is part of the squad going to Stadium:MK.
Van Gaal has already shown his faith in youth this season and it would be no surprise if Wilson was backed to start in this game.
ST – Wayne Rooney
As the club’s captain, Rooney will need to put in a performance in matches like this to set an example.
MK Dons should not pose a threat to a club like United, but there is a genuine anxiety about this fixture from a lot of their fans and Rooney needs to use his experience to calm the nerves that the rest of his teammates may have.