Paul Scholes expects Michael Carrick to start against Tottenham Hotspur

by Ben Topliss

Paul Scholes expects Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick to start against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday as it will help the team keep possession of the ball.

Carrick has only recently returned from injury having been sidelined for a month with a muscle rupture.

He came on at half-time in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Arsenal on Monday night but Louis van Gaal opted to lump the ball up to Marouane Fellaini instead.

Scholes feels the Dutchman will aim to play a controlled, possession based game against Spurs and that Carrick will be central to that.

Speaking about United’s playing style, Scholes said: “Against Arsenal, there were times when United went more direct to Marouane Fellaini but not as much as might be expected. For what other reason was he in the team? At least it gave United a chance to play in their opponents’ half. It might be a bit prehistoric, and there is no chance that Van Gaal will want to do it long term, but if United keep playing the way they are, they will be found out against better sides.

“The Spurs midfield, for example, has Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason at the centre, two players I like. They get to the ball quickly and close opponents down. If the aim is to pass around them, then you have to be very polished in that kind of possession-style game. My guess is that Michael Carrick will play against Spurs on Sunday, which will help United.”

As much as Carrick will be crucial if United are to get a positive result on Sunday, Ander Herrera will have to make a big impact too.

The Spaniard has enjoyed a run of starts in the team but was brought off at the interval against the Gunners. A real box to box midfielder, Herrera will pressure opponents while making intelligent passes himself. Alternatively, van Gaal may turn to Daley Blind to get United back to winning ways.

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