Manchester United kick of their eagerly
awaited Premier League campaign against
Tottenham at Old Trafford on Saturday and
will now be looking to mount a title challenge after
regrouping during Louis van Gaal’s first season in
The Dutchman has made several solid buys this
summer to strengthen the squad, particularly in
midfield and there is every reason for fans to be
confident ahead of the opening game.
Here’s a look at the starting XI the manager is
expected to pick.
Romero < Barring any dramatic late changes to the
situation, David de Gea will still be a United player
for the duration of this season. However, struggling
for fitness and form during pre-season, van Gaal
feels the Spaniard isn't quite mentally right to face
Spurs. That will most likely mean a debut for
Argentine stopper Sergio Romero. Defence
Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw
Van Gaal recently revealed he had already decided
that Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and new signing
Matteo Darmian will make up most of his opening
day back four, with one place up for grabs.
The overwhelming likelihood is that the final
position will go to Chris Smalling, who has been
formally named as the the club’s third captain for
the forthcoming season and is expected to have a
big year after a strong finish to 2014/15.
Ander, Carrick, Schneiderlin
The manager now has midfield options galore to
choose from, but to begin with he may plump for
tried and tested. That means starting places for
2014/15 surprise package Ander Herrera, veteran
pass-master Michael Carrick, and new signing
Morgan Schneiderlin, who is already well versed in
Premier League football.
Bastian Schweinsteiger isn’t fit enough to start,
but could appear for his official debut later on.
Mata, Rooney, Depay
United fans have been crying out for a new striker
all summer, but as captain, Wayne Rooney will
start as a centre-forward in every game that he fit
to play. He has an exceptional goal record when
playing in the position and there would simply be
no room for another expensive striker.
Juan Mata enjoyed a lot of success from the right
last season, and will drift inside to influence play
and create chances, while Memphis Depay is in
line for his official debut on the left.