Louis van Gaal has entered danger territory and is very close losing his job after a string of results that saw Manchester United slip down the points table. He will face one of the most important fixtures in his time in England when he travels with his team to Stoke City on the Boxing Day.
A loss in this game can seriously damage the chances for Louis van Gaal and he will have to set his team up to take all three points from this fixture. Wayne Rooney, Morgan Schneiderlin and Phil Jones are all back into the squad after recovering from injuries. Bastian Schweinsteiger and Matteo Darmian are still out injured. Here is how the Red Devils are expected to line up at the Britannia Stadium on Saturday:
David de Gea:
The Spaniard has been one of the best players for Untied in the recent past and will continue in front of the posts against Stoke City.
Injuries to key players will see Young play in an un-familiar right back position in the game against Stoke. He will be under pressure to stay solid at the back.
Though Smalling has been excellent for the first couple of months, his weaknesses have been exploited recently. However he is still the first choice CB and will start this game.
Back from injury Phil Jones will slot into his center back position and will hope to create a solid partnership with Smalling at the heart of the defense.
The Dutch international was played in a make shift position last weekend but will return to the right back position on Saturday.
The experienced defensive mid-fielder, Carrick has been the lynchpin for United in certain games and will try to have the same impact against Stoke.
The English international will hope to put in a better performance compared to his last outing and will hope to cement his place in the squad.
Mata has been sensational at times for the club but his inconsistency should be dealt with and he will hope to take United home on Boxing Day.
The fit again club captain Wayne Rooney will walk into the squad and will hope to keep his goal scoring record on Boxing Days intact.
Depay has shown his class in certain games but has not been as effective when the team needed him the most. He will get another chance to prove himself on Saturday.
The brightest spot for Untied in the final third, Martial has always looked to make things happen and will be the biggest threat for the Potters.
Van Gaal might try ant tinker with his combination and might play Wayne Rooney up front as the striker. Martial will be pushed on to the left dropping Depay to the bench. Here is how they might also line-up on Saturday.
David de Gea; Young, Smalling, Jones, Blind; Fellaini, Carrick, Schneiderlin; Marital Rooney, Mata