We predict Man Utd's starting line-up for Premier League opener against Spurs
Last Updated: 05/08/15 5:08pm
How will Manchester United line up for their Premier League opener against Tottenham on Saturday?
United have been busy in the transfer window this summer, bringing in five new signings as they look to mount a meaningful Premier League title challenge.
There are likely to be more comings and goings at Old Trafford before the transfer window shuts on September 1, but here is how they could line up for the visit of Spurs…
Louis van Gaal admits David de Gea’s future is far from certain at United, with Real Madrid eager to take the 24-year-old back to Spain. For all the speculation, however, De Gea has featured for United in pre-season and should start against Tottenham. Victor Valdes has been frozen out by Van Gaal, and new signing Sergio Romero is likely to begin his United career on the bench.
Matteo Darmian has featured prominently in pre-season following his move from Torino in July, and the Italian is set to make his debut at right-back against Spurs, with Luke Shaw lining up on the left. Van Gaal insists Daley Blind starts the season as his first choice centre-back despite featuring more regularly in midfield last season. With Marcos Rojo injured, that leaves Chris Smalling and Phil Jones battling it out for the other spot, and Smalling probably has the edge having finished last season stronger than his fellow England international.
The signings of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin have significantly bolstered United’s central midfield, but Michael Carrick is likely to keep his place. United only lost one of the Premier League games he started last season, and he is most likely to be partnered by Schneiderlin, who has looked fitter than Schweinsteiger in pre-season.
Van Gaal has confirmed his plans to restore Wayne Rooney to his preferred central striking role this season, and the 29-year-old will spearhead their attack against Spurs. New signing Memphis Depay has featured just behind the striker in pre-season, which is likely to continue on Saturday, with Juan Mata and Ashley Young the favourites to occupy the wide positions. One man who won’t be involved is Angel Di Maria, who is on the verge of joining Paris Saint Germain.
That line-up would leave United with a number of options on the bench. Jones and Antonio Valencia can provide defensive cover, while the likes of Ander Herrera, Adnan Januzaj and Andreas Pereira offer creativity. Up front, youngster James Wilson will hope to be involved and Javier Hernandez is another possibility if he can recover from a knock.