Manchester United will need a victory to guarantee a place in the next stage of the UEFA Champions League against Wolfsburg.
It comes at a time when Van Gaal’s man have put in hard work to get back into the competition last season and then having to leave it late to progress to face European elite’s in the last 16. It is still very tight knit in Group B where Wolfsburg are currently on top with 9 points, United second with 8 points and PSV with 7 points with them facing CSKA Moscow. So there is a possibility United can miss out on the passage and play in the Europa League.
There are many injury worries for the United boss to take care over. After the goal less draw on the weekend against West Ham, the side seemed to have hit the stumbling block and have become shy on goal. Even so, it was expected they would be able to get a result against PSV at Old Trafford and that too ended in a 0-0.
Rooney was already a confirmed absentee last week as he was ruled out with an ankle injury. Schneiderlin limped off against West Ham and has not travelled to Germany. Defenders Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Luke Shaw are out. Joined by Valencia and Herrera. McNair was also taken off on the weekend so it may see a shaken back four in defence.
Martial is the only available striker at the moment and he needs the delivery from midfield to get on the end of the chances. It is fair to say Mata and Lingard are floating midfielders but they cannot deliver crosses into the penalty area or run at full backs. At best, they can play the third man into running behind defences. Fellaini could be an option to support Martial up front especially his presence but he has not got the regular game time to be comfortable in his role. The weakness could be having Schweinsteiger in midfield as Wolfsburg would know how to play against him, since his days at Bayern.
Does Van Gaal use Young as left back and shift Darmian back on the right or does he use Varela at right back? Blind will be exposed in defence and no one can disregard his technical abilities. Once again, it will be annoying to see Memphis start off the bench as he played well when he came on against West Ham. He needs his chances, if he is not getting time on the field, how is that helping his tenure in the red shirt?
Realistically, United will need to go all guns blazing and go for the win. This will secure qualification to the next stage. However, there is a chance where PSV could draw and United draw and go through. Again, it will be relying on other results and Van Gaal is not that type of manager who wants to do that. Let’s hope it is a good result for United and getting the club back to where it belongs and challenge the top teams.
Possible starting XI:
Man Utd; De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Young, Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Mata, Fellaini, Lingard, Martial.