Rooney

Manchester United managed to bounce back from a shocking defeat at the hands of Tottenham with an FA Cup victory against West Ham United.

Up next at Old Trafford is relegation-threatened Aston Villa, for whom anything less than a win is a confirmed ticket to relegation.

This fixture represents a great opportunity for United to chalk up a convincing victory and rack up a higher goal difference in their race to gate-crash the top four.

Louis van Gaal will be buoyed with captain Wayne Rooney’s return to fitness, and he could play his first Premier League game since mid-February after coming off the bench against West Ham.

Phil Jones may also be available for selection after featuring in the club’s Under-21 side on Monday, but van Gaal will be without Ander Herrera and long-term absentees Luke Shaw and Bastian Schweinsteiger.

So, who will the Dutch manager pick for the clash? Here is the team we think van Gaal will go for.

Goalkeeper:

David de Gea will keep his place in goal after another brilliant display against West Ham and will look to mesmerize us with his astonishing saves once again.

Defence:

The defensive four really impressed at Upton Park and must remain unchanged despite Phil Jones returning to full fitness following a near four-month spell on the sidelines.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah has been the standout in the last two outings showing great maturity and it would be a big mistake to drop him given his confidence and defensive strength of late. Chris Smalling and Daley Blind might have a relatively easy afternoon with only Jordan Ayew looking likely to threaten United’s goal.

Marcos Rojo has to continue playing in order to build up his fitness because it’s becoming an alarming long spell without reaching optimum condition.

Midfield:

Ander Herrera’s sudden injury rules the Spaniard out of contention for the match against Aston Villa which will again see Louis van Gaal’s options limited. Fellaini impressed on Wednesday and may not keep his place in the team with Michael Carrick and Morgan Schneiderlin to play as a holding midfield pair. The Belgian might be introduced as a substitute later stage.

He can be used further up the pitch and be entrusted with the task of being a menace for the Villa backline to deal with. The Belgian impressed in such a role at Upton Park and with United desperately needing results by hook or crook, it is a tactic that is not likely to be frowned upon by supporters.

Attack:

United’s offensive play was really sharper at West Ham, the youthful selection as well as playing people in their favoured positions ultimately resulted in a fluid display in which Manchester United seemed like a cohesive, well drilled and confident attacking unit.

Marcus Rashford’s goal was one of excellent instinct. The way he received the ball from Anthony Martial and only thought of scoring rather than looking a safe pass, was a perfect example of maturity. His step-over that bamboozled James Tomkins was brilliant and the finish into the top corner was just too good.

But van Gaal may not keep the same front three on Saturday. Martial and Jesse Lingard on either wing with incoming captain Rooney through the middle. We may see Rashford being posted upfront. Aston Villa’s defence has hardly been one of strength this term and it will be an opportunity for United to keep their attacking momentum going and rack up a few goals.

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