Angel Di Maria has been ruled out of the match against Stoke after suffering a hamstring problem in the early parts of Manchester United‘s 3-0 win over Hull City. Wayne Rooney also picked up a knock late on in the match after colliding with the signboards, but is expected to feature in the match against Mark Hughes’s side.
As Louis Van Gaal prepares his side for Tuesday night’s match against Mark Hughes’s Stoke City, the Dutchman could have a selection dilemma on his hands in terms of the strikeforce.
When quizzed about his selection dilemma upfront, Van Gaal explained the rationale behind selecting three strikers in the match day squad.
“Because I played with two strikers on Saturday I needed Falcao on the bench,’ said Van Gaal. ‘But it was not normal because he was not fit to play 90 minutes but for 20 minutes. Now, I can use him because he has trained for a full week with the first team.”
Radamel Falcao could be in line for a start after training with the first team for a full week, but Robin Van Persie’s goal against Hull City could give the Dutch striker some much needed breathing space.
Robin Van Persie ended his run of poor form with a wonderful goal in the second half, but with Radamel Falcao fully fit and raring to go, Van Persie will be looking over his shoulder nervously.
Van Persie has scored 10 goals in nine Premier League appearances against Stoke, so history suggests the Dutchman will probably retain his place in the side.
Ander Herrera‘s performance in the match against Hull City suggests the Spaniard might start against Stoke alongside Marouane Fellaini. With Van Gaal preferring Michael Carrick to play in the three-men-at-the-back system, Di Maria’s absence could be fortuitous for Herrera, who was awarded the Man of the Match against Hull City.
Van Gaal was full of praise for his midfielder after the match against Hull City, and Herrera himself was pleased to have given his manager more options in midfield.
“I played like a no.10 and it is good because I can change positions. I can give the manager more options.
“I am very happy [to get the man-of-the-match award].
“I am grateful because I know the Manchester United fans have seen a lot of good players at Old Trafford and I am happy. I say ‘thank you’ to them all.
“I try to keep working and keep helping the team. I am happy with the game, of course.”
“I have never seen Stoke losing one game like 4-0 or 5-0,” he said. “They always fight in the games and, this season, they are playing much better and more on the ground.
“It is going to be a difficult game because Stoke have good players but we are at Old Trafford and we want to win all the games.”
James Wilson and Johnny Evans will have late fitness tests ahead of the match to see if the duo can make the bench.
Daley Blind, Luke Shaw, Rafael and Phil Jones remain the long-term casualties.