Manchester United vs PSV: Three players who must start

by Sam Peoples

Manchester United’s game against PSV Eindhoven is a very important one.

Win and we qualify for the knock-out rounds, lose and we could end up in third position with only one game remaining – a tough away trip to Wolfsburg who could then only need a draw to go through.

For that reason, Louis van Gaal will be looking for nothing but a win against PSV at Old Trafford and here’s three players who I feel must start on Wednesday.

Jesse Lingard

The maturity of Lingard’s performances are what has impressed me so much since he earned himself a place in the starting XI. Yes, there are plenty of poor decisions and mistakes but you’d expect that of anybody breaking into the team for the first time.

Out of all the established attackers we’ve got in the team, it is Lingard’s desire to run at defenders with pace that is having such an impact. Plus, his goal against West Brom showed his prowess at finishing when he gets it right.

Right now, Lingard is the first attacker on my team-sheet after Anthony Martial when he is fit.

Morgan Schneiderlin

There was once a time when van Gaal left out Schneiderlin for a succession of games including the away trip to Arsenal. The mere idea of leaving Schneiderlin out of our team now is laughable, bordering on ludicrous.

He’s shown in recent games just how important he can be – he’s the defensive midfielder we craved for years and we should be building our midfield around him at the base of the spine.

It’s absolutely no coincidence that we’re hardly conceding any goals with Schneiderlin in our team because he protects the defence so well. Up against a PSV side who will be energetic and full of pace, we need him to shield our defence.

Matteo Darmian

This has been a bit of strange decision by van Gaal to continue leaving Darmian out of the team since his poor showing against Arsenal. Yes, that did include a suspension at home to West Brom but he was simply left out of the side at the weekend.

As good as the versatile Ashley Young is, Darmian is by far and away our best right-back. His overlapping runs give us real natural width on the right and his willingness has been a major contributor as to why Juan Mata has enjoyed such a good season so far because Darmian opens up space by dragging defenders to cover him.

If we are to play to our strengths with real pace in attack in certain areas, Darmian’s runs on the right are going to be crucial.

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