Rafael – United’s only ‘proper’ right-back should start in the position he made his own in the 2012/2013 season.
Phil Jones – Jones will be looking to use this season to push on and become one of the first names on the teamsheet.
Jonny Evans – Van Gaal may well pair Jones and Evans in a partnership that many have tipped to be United’s future defensive bedrock.
Luke Shaw – With Patrice Evra having now left the club, Shaw is United’s number one, and only, left-back.
Darren Fletcher – Experience may be the key at the base of the United midfield.
Ander Herrera – New-boy Herrera can also expect to be given a start in the midfield on Thursday.
Tom Cleverley – Cleverley could well make-up a triumvirate of midfield players in what might be a make-or-break tour for the Englishman in terms of his United future (not the first time that has been said).
Antonio Valencia – A new contract in the summer shows Valencia may well be a key man during the Van Gaal tenure.
Ashley Young – Not involved in the World Cup, Young may get the chance to kick-off his pre-season with a start against LA Galaxy on the left-hand side.
The unpredictable Louis van Gaal could choose any number of personnel and formations for the opening match of Manchester United’s pre-season tour, meaning any prediction is guesswork. One of Van Gaal’s favoured formations (4-3-3) comprising of United’s strongest tour members would be the most obvious starting XI however.
It will be interesting to see whether the Dutch manager decides to utilise Rooney, Shinji Kagawa or Juan Mata in a deeper midfield role than either are regularly played in.