Manchester United’s game tonight against Liverpool is a chance for Louis van Gaal and the players to head into the end of this season on a high.
It won’t be an easy game at all as we lost the first leg 2-0 but under the floodlights of Old Trafford we can do it I think if we select the right team and have the right approach.
With that in mind, here are three players I think Louis van Gaal must start against Liverpool if we are to have any chance of going through.
Schneiderlin is our best midfielder and there is no logic at all in not playing him. He’s got more energy than either Carrick and Fellaini and we need him to boss the midfield, to squeeze the space out of Liverpool’s attack and offer genuine protection to whoever we’ve got at centre-back.
Without him at Anfield, there was so much space in behind our midfield which Liverpool happily exploited and if we are to win tonight, we’ll need to quash Liverpool’s threat just as much as we need to offer our own going forward.
In terms of form, Varela is one of the best players currently at the club. His positioning might be off but in terms of offering an outlet going forward and his overall temperament, he deserves to be starting ahead of Matteo Darmian without doubt.
It’s a risky move and that’s why we need to do. We’re not going to go through without taking risks and going for the more pragmatic, safe option of Darmian would be a step in the wrong direction.
Just as much as Varela is more capable of creating chances for Liverpool with poor positioning, his natural width and tenacious attacking style is far more capable of helping United create chances at the other end. We need to take the latter approach.
In much the same fashion as I’ve chosen Varela over Darmian, Memphis has to start ahead of Jesse Lingard.
We need match-winners in our starting XI against Liverpool and the safer option of Lingard doesn’t scream that to me. Memphis might not have had the sort of season he’d have wanted but he’s still the type of player who could thrive on a night like tonight.
As he showed in the last round against lesser opposition in FC Midtjylland, when he’s full of confidence he can be almost impossible to stop. Wouldn’t it be the perfect sort of match for Memphis to truly announce himself to the fans?