How should Manchester United line-up against Shrewsbury in the FA Cup 5th round.

Aakarsh / 22 February 2016

Manchester United have been enduring one of their worst seasons in a long time as they are now far away from the Premier League title, out of the League Cup and the Champions League and holding on to a place in the Europa league.

Their only real shot at silverware this season is in the FA Cup where they were drawn against Shrewsbury in the 5th round of the Cup. Coming off a loss in the Europa League whose second leg is just days away, it will be interesting to see how Louis van Gaal will line-up his team on Monday.

The biggest problem for Manchester United has been the number of injuries to the squad. A total of 14 players are out injured for this game including the likes of Schweinsteiger and Jones leaving the defense weak.

But the biggest absentees will surely be Wayne Rooney and David de Gea who are impact players for the club.

The absence of de Gea will see Sergio Romero take over the gloves. The Argentine has just not been able to impress after his initial outing in the team but his performance in the Europa league last game will warrant him a place in the starting XI.

The center of the defense might just bare a familiar look with Daley Blind and Chris Smalling taking their place at the back. Smalling has arguably been Untied’s best defender this season and will need to be in unison with his Dutch partner if United are to move into the next round of the competition.

Cameron Brothwick-Johnson was out ill for the last game but will be back on the flan on Monday. Ashley Young is also injured leaving Paddy McNair as the only option to play at the right back position against Shrewsbury.

But this defensive line has been error prone in the past and will need to backed up by a strong mid-field that can take the pressure off the back four.


Morgan Schneiderlin might be given a chance in front of the defense. The ex-Southampton mid-fielder must stick to his job and provide a bit of resistance against the Shrewsbury attacks. He will be alongside veteran Michael Carrick who has been solid in the middle for the Red Devils this season.

Belgian international Marouane Fellaini has been preferred at times in the mid-field and has been given a free flowing role in the middle. It will be interesting to see if Van Gaal goes with the returning loanee Will Keane.

Keane came back to the club after a loan spell in the last transfer window and made his second appearance for the club late in the 2-1 loss against Sunderland. It is baffling to see the manager not use the youngster in the middle eve after cutting his loan spell short.

But up front, Untied are very weak and will need Juan Mata to play the game as a central mid-fielder just in front of the two mid-field players in Schneiderlin and Carrick.

The Spaniard was out of sorts in the last game but his quality on the ball will surely find him a place in the starting XI.

The front three will not be easy to pick for the Dutchman. With Rooney absent for this game, Martial will surely start. But it will be interesting to see the position in which the French national starts as he has been preferred over Memphis Depay on the flank.

Depay lacks the discipline required for a winger in English football and Martial will solve that problem for Louis van Gaal.

It will be interesting to see how both players fit into the bill up ahead for the club on Monday.

Jesse Lingard who has grown in confidence after recent results will surely start on the other flank leaving Manchester United a bit low on experience up front.

Here is how United might line-up against Shrewsbury:

Formation: 4-3-2-1

Romero; Johnson, Blind, Smalling, McNair; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Lingard, Mata, Depay; Martial


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