Manchester United could book their place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League if they win against PSV at Old Trafford.
With only two games to go in the group stages, United are top of the Group B only by a point and a win would secure their position in the next stage of the competition. The possibility of qualifying for the next stages will show the attitude and guidance under Louis Van Gaal which would mean they have returned to the big competition against Europe’s elite.
The first fixture in the group saw United lose away to PSV and the occasion was marred by the injury suffered by Luke Shaw which has ruled him out since then. It was a time when Shaw was returning to his best in the Red Devil’s shirt after a summer of different training methods to get in shape for the season. However, in the competition, United are unbeaten in last three games after two wins and a draw.
In the team news, Rooney, Martial and Fellaini were back in training after missing the weekend game against Watford. Van Gaal has stated the players will need to show in training how worthy they are to be selected in the starting line-up as it is not guaranteed a place is given on merit but form. United could be without several key players, Herrera and Jones were substituted against Watford. Schweinsteiger did not train for no confirmed reason. Valencia has had an ankle operation and Shaw remains an absentee. It is unlikely Carrick will feature either.
Memphis took his chance well against Watford playing on his own up front. For him to get the goal would have been a huge boost since pressure was amounting on his big summer move from PSV as his formed dipped. If Rooney or Martial is fit, it could see Memphis move back to left wing and either striker playing up top depending on their fitness. The midfield will be an area of concern as Herrera and Carrick are not available and Schweinsteiger did not train. So it is possible Fellaini could fit into midfield. Lingard has been getting a good run of games in the first team and he has been growing in each game by making runs into the box and playing the third runs to create space. Darmian is available again could feature if the back four is Darmian, Smalling, Rojo and Young. This would leave Blind in midfield with Schneiderlin to provide protection.
For a brief period of the game against Watford, United went back to three centre backs and two wing backs. McNair and Rojo had to come on for Jones and Herrera. So it would not be a surprise if McNair gets to start and the team is reshuffled with many key players out.
Judging by the first game, United were in control until the injury suffered by Shaw. Then the game changed and that is where the head’s turned from United’s perspective. At Old Trafford it will be a different game and the fans will be cheering for the team to get the win.
Possible starting XI:
Man Utd; De Gea, Young, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Schneiderlin, Fellaini, Mata, Lingard, Memphis, Rooney.
PSV; Zoet, Brenet, Moreno, Bruma, Arias, Guardado, Maher, Propper, Locadia, De Jong, Narsingh.