Manchester United begin their festive period fixtures away to Swansea City. The busy Christmas period indicates the likelihood of rotation from Sir Alex Ferguson over the coming games. After a week’s rest, here is my predicted starting line-up for the match against Swansea.
David de Gea: De Gea has now featured in Manchester United’s last two matches and done well. He should start against Swansea.
Rio Ferdinand: The 34-year-old will be rested at some point over the festive period but it would be unlikely to drop him for this tough away fixture against Swansea.
Jonny Evans: Having recovered from a minor injury, Evans is set to return to the starting line-up despite fierce competition. The Northern Irishman has so far proven this season his entitlement to a starting berth. Should be itching to play after signing a new long term with the club that keeps him at Manchester United until 2016.
Patrice Evra: Like Ferdinand, Evra will probably be rested at some time in the coming matches but his experience will be vital in Sunday’s game.
Antonio Valencia: Albeit not on his best form, Valencia is a big part in Manchester United’s structure. Simply by hugging the touchline, his clever positional play enables the rest of the players more space and more options. For this reason if nothing else, Valencia is a nigh shoe-in for the game against Swansea.
Michael Carrick: The midfield maestro is in great form and his ‘metronomical’ style will be vital if Manchester United are to play well on Sunday.
Tom Cleverley: Cleverley plays well when given a run of games and after recent good performances, he is likely to get the nod to partner Carrick again in this fixture.
Ashley Young: Young is another player who has impressed recently and deserves his place for the game on Sunday. He offers Manchester United more natural width than, for example Danny Welbeck or Ryan Giggs, and this could be essential in exposing Swansea.
Wayne Rooney: Rooney has arguably been Manchester United’s best player this season and after a week off will no doubt start at the Liberty Stadium as he looks to continue his recent scoring run.
Robin van Persie: Van Persie is another who will no doubt be rested over the festive period, especially with the talents of Welbeck and Hernandez waiting in the wings. Nevertheless, after a weeks respite, this match is set to feature Manchester United’s big guns of which the Dutchman certainly is one.
I’m predicting the 4-4-2 formation again this Sunday after its success in previous matches. The set-up favours expansive play, something that the Manchester United front six have thrived on recently. If the front six are again at their flowing best, then the formation should present the opportunities for Manchester United to take three points from the Liberty Stadium.
Who do you think will start against Swansea?