Speaking ahead of the home tie against Newcastle United, Louis van Gaal admitted that German Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger could be in line for his first Premier League start. Jones and Rojo are still unavailable for selection, though the latter is only a week away from match fitness. Sergio Romero will continue in goal, as Van Gaal will wait till the first of September to address the situation on David De Gea.
Aftet overcoming Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, with a victory over Club Brugge in the midweek, Manchester United go into their home game against Newcastle United, firm favourites. Whilst their front four had come under attack for being stale, boring and deliberative, United responded with aplomb against Club Brugge, creating a plethora of chances, while converting three of them. The goal-scoring onus will not lie singularly on Wayne Rooney as the mercurial Memphis Depay is building up to a purple patch of form.
Schweinsteiger could start
Having brought on the German at halftime, to replace Michael Carrick, Schweinsteiger marshaled the midfield from the word ‘go’. According to the Club’s Official Website van Gaal floated the possibility of Schweinsteiger getting his first start for the club.
The German World Cup-winner has been used sparingly so far this season as he builds up his match fitness via a series of second-half cameo roles, coming on after 60 minutes against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, before entering the fray at half-time against Club Brugge in midweek.
United’s supporters would be licking their lips with the prospect of ‘Schmidfield’ starting the game, as both Schneiderlin and the German captain performed well in tandem against Club Brugge.
During his weekly interview with MUTV at the Aon Training Complex, van Gaal suggested the former Bayern Munich player could start against the Magpies. However, the boss also revealed Phil Jones will not feature due to illness and Marcos Rojo is still improving his own match sharpness.
With Juan Mata performing well in the hole, and Chicharito adding energy when brought on, United’s four-man attack could see a change in the game against Newcastle. The idea to bring Mata into the centre could work well against Newcastle, as Colochini and Anita might prove too physical for Adnan Januzaj to break through from the centre.
Chicharito has long been United’s ‘Plan B’. Playing the role of supporting striker to perfection, Hernandez posses an acute sense of position within the box, with an uncanny ability to get himself into a position of promise just when United need it.
The second half against CLub Brugge saw Wayne Rooney substituted after another Lukwarm display, and though the Mexican didn’t replace the English captain, his presence in the game was felt, as he dragged defenders out of position, most notably before Memphis Depay was able to whip in a cross for Maroune Fellaini’s goal in the last play of the game.
Ashley Young could also be used as a winger, albeit on the right. With Mata failing to provide much as an out and out winger, the experiment to use Young on the right wing, could stretch Newcastle’s defence, while ensuring United’s attack does not get bogged down in the centre. Against Tottenham, it was Ashley Young’s instinctive run down the right hand side, and his pinpoint cross to Wayne Rooney that broke the deadlock and ensured United got the crucial goal in a tepid encounter.