Schweinsteiger, Martial and Smalling will be vital for Manchester United after the international break

Old Trafford 3

Taking a look at three players who will be crucial for Manchester United directly after the international break.

Many of Manchester United’s players are currently away on international duty, with winger Jesse Lingard the latest to get a call-up after his impressive recent showings at Old Trafford, but here we take a look at three players who will be key for Louis van Gaal’s side when they return to domestic matters.

United are currently fourth in the Premier League but just two points behind leaders Manchester City.

It is an admirable achievement for a United side that has been criticised for playing boring, possession-based football and rarely attacking their opponents’ goal, but fans will not be as patient if the side start to lose ground on their cross-city rivals.

Below are three players who will be key for United when they take on Watford next weekend and for the matches thereafter:

Bastian Schweinsteiger

The German international has settled in well at Old Trafford but he is not exactly pulling up trees with his performances. However, with Michael Carrick injured while away with England, the German international has just become even more important to this United side.

Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin must add more attacking intent to their play while continuing their fine job of shielding United’s back-line.

Anthony Martial

Frenchman Anthony Martial quickly proved any doubters wrong following his big-money move from AS Monaco, but after scoring three goals in his first two league matches the 19-year-old has failed to find the net in the next six.

Much of that is down to his change of position, operating as he has been on the wing, but he needs to step up and score more goals, especially with games as tight as they are for United right now.

Chris Smalling

Centre-back Chris Smalling has been nothing short of sensational for United this season and he is arguably the most important player in their starting line-up week in, week out.

Time and again the England man has delivered outstanding performances and if he can continue his good form directly after the international break expect United to keep plenty more clean sheets.

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